BHUBANESWAR: The Crime Branch on Tuesday joined the Gajapati police in probing the mysterious death of forest officer Soumya Ranjan Mohapatra (32).
“We have not taken over the probe from the district police. We will assist the police. A team led by deputy superintendent of police Bijay Kumar Mallick has been deputed to assist the Gajapati district police,” additional director general (Crime Branch) Sanjeeb Panda said.
The development comes a day after the deceased’s father, Abhiram Mohapatra, met DGP Abhay and requested him for a Crime Branch (CB) inquiry. Considering the sensitivity of the case, Abhay asked the CB to guide Gajapati police in the case.
Soumya, who was posted as an assistant conservator of forests (ACF) at Paralakhemundi, sustained serious burn injuries at his home on July 11 . He and his wife Bidya Bharati were present at home when the incident occurred. A critical Soumya was admitted to the MKCG Medical College and Hospital with 90% burns. Later, he was shifted to a hospital in Cuttack, where he succumbed to his injuries on July 13.
On July 15, the police registered a murder case against three persons — Bidya, their cook and Gajapati DFO S K Behera — following a complaint by the deceased’s father, who alleged that his son was killed by the three.
Soumya and Bidya were married last year. However, their martial life was choppy. “My son had been in tremendous mental pressure because of his wife’s torture. She, her cook and the DFO conspired and executed my son’s murder. They tried to portray the murder as an accident and misled police by claiming that my son sustained injuries from the cooking gas stove,” Abhiram told the media.
Bidya has denied the charges. “The allegations against me are false and baseless. I did not kill my husband. Soumya’s parents have been questioning my character. But their son (my husband) used to flirt with women over phone and might have developed extramarital affair,” she told reporters on Tuesday.