Rourkela Assistant Collector death: Odisha cops quiz Sushmita Minz’s hubby

Bhubaneswar: The police today questioned Rourkela Assistant Collector Sushmita Minz’s husband in connection with her mysterious death in the Steel City of Odisha on September 19.

DSP Banita Majhi, who is heading the probe team constituted by the Odisha Police to investigate into the case, quizzed Sushmita’s husband Sushil Topno for around two hours at the office of Rourkela SP, sources said.

Sushil, who works as a banker in neighbouring Chhattisgarh, had tied the knot with Sushmita (35) a few months ago.

Sushmita, a native of Rambahal area of Rajgangpur in Sundargarh district, was appointed as the Assistant Collector of Rourkela around 18 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 near Rourkela railway station.

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.

He alleged that Sundargarh Collector, Rourkela ADM, Gurundia Block Development Officer, Gurundia Child Development Project Officer (CDPO) and a woman Sub-Inspector of Odisha Police were behind Sushmita’s death.

The deceased Assistant Collector’s family had sought a CBI probe into the incident.

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