Odisha: Cops quiz hotel manager in Rourkela Assistant Collector death case

Bhubaneswar: The police today questioned the manager of a hotel in connection with the mysterious death of Rourkela Assistant Collector Sushmita Minz in the Steel City of Odisha on September 19.

A special team led by DSP Banita Majhi quizzed Dinesh Ray, the manager of Hotel Anurag in Rourkela, and recoded his statement under Section 161 of the CrPC.

Sushmita had checked into Hotel Anurag on September 16 before moving to Hotel Radhika Regency near Rourkela Railway Station the next day, sources said.

Sushmita, a native of Rambahal area of Rajgangpur in Sundargarh district, was appointed as the Assistant Collector of Rourkela around 19 months ago. She was looking after issues related to land acquisition.

Sushmita, an ORS officer, was staying in her Rajgangpur home. She used to travel to her workplace at the ADM office in Rourkela.

Sushmita, however, did not return home on September 16 on the plea that she had an emergency meeting at the ADM office.

Her brother Sandeep had lodged a missing complaint with Udit Nagar police in the Steel City on September 17 after he failed to trace her at the ADM office.

On the same day, police traced Sushmita to Hotel Radhika Regency. On being informed by the police, Sandeep and his mother reached the hotel to enquire about Sushmita’s wellbeing. Sushmita, however, refused to return home, sources said.

Later, Gurundia BDO and CDPO informed Sushmita’s family that she was suffering from severe mental depression. Her body was found floating in a pond at the sensory park in Rourkela at around 3 pm on September 19.

The Plantsite police in the Steel City recovered the body and sent it for postmortem after registering an unnatural death case in this regard.

The postmortem suggested that Sushmita had died due to drowning. Sushmita’s brother Sandeep, however, alleged that she has been murdered by some influential people. The deceased Assistant Collector’s family had sought a CBI probe into the incident.

The special team has so far interrogated at least 15 persons including Gurundia BDO, CDPO, the deceased Assistant Collector’s husband, her male friend and three security guards of a sensory park in connection with the death case, sources added.

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