Odisha woman sarpanch claims innocence of her hubby held in VLW death

Jajpur: A day after the arrest of Haridaspur sarpanch Madhusmita Bhadra’s husband Rupesh Bhadra in connection with death of woman Village Level Worker (VLW) Smitarani Biswal, Madhusmita today said her hubby is innocent and has been falsely implicated in the case.

“My husband is a good man and helps others during crisis. We had a very good rapport with the family of Smitarani. Even we used to visit places together,” said Madhusmita.

She further claimed Smitarani was not on good terms with her in-laws. “After Smitarani’s father and brother requested us, we were helping her. My husband has been falsely framed in the case. She was eyeing my husband,” added the woman sarpanch.

Meanwhile, a delegation of BJP today met DGP BK Sharma demanding justice for the family of Smitarani. Alleging that a conspiracy is behind the death of the woman VLW, the party leader Lekhasri Samantsinghar asked why other accused has not been questioned yet whereas only husband of the deceased and her relatives are being quizzed by the district police.

In reply, BJD leader Sulata Deo said politicians should refrain from issuing statements pertaining to the case as those could affect the investigation.

Yesterday, Jajpur SP Charan Singh Meena said Rupesh has been arrested in connection with the case and prima facie shows his involvement in abetment of the VLW’s suicide. “Smitarani and Rupesh were in a relationship. However, some differences erupted between them a few days back,” the SP added.

On October 16, Smitarani and Rupesh engaged in a verbal duel. Later Rupesh instigated Smitarani to commit suicide following which she ended her life in the guesthouse owned by him, the SP had said.

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