Paralakhemundi ACF Death Case: DFO, Cook Undergo Polygraph Test

Bhubaneswar: The Crime Branch probing the Paralakhemundi Assistant Conservator of Forest (ACF) Soumya Ranjan Mohapatra’s death case today conducted polygraph tests (lie detection) of Paralakhemundi Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Sangram Keshari Behera and cook Manmath Kumbha.

Sources in the Crime Branch said that the polygraph tests of Behera and Kumbha were conducted at the State Forensic Science Laboratory (SFSL) here amid tight security.

Behera who has been named as one of the accused in the Soumya Ranjan death case by the latter’s father underwent the polygraph test for over three hours and asked a 100 questions to ascertain the truth behind the circumstances leading to the death of Soumya Ranjan.

The DFO has been embroiled in controversy over the death of Soumya Ranjan. As per the FIR lodged by Soumya Ranjan’s father Abhiram Mohapatra at Paralakhemundi Police Station, the DFO allegedly had an illicit relationship with his son’s wife Bidya Bharati.

He has alleged that his son was killed by his daughter-in-law Bidya Bharati in connivance with DFO Behera and cook Manmath Kumbha.

The police had launched an investigation into the ACF’s death following the filing of an FIR by the latter’s father at Paralakhemundi police station.

However, the then Gajapati SP Tapan Patnaik had given a clean chit to the DFO.

Later following public outcry the probe was handed over to the Crime Branch.

A four-member team of the Crime Branch led by DSP Gyana Ranjan Mishra has taken up a fresh investigation into the case and has been interrogating all the persons, directly or indirectly, involved in the case.

Deceased ACF Soumya Ranjan had been rescued in a critical condition with severe burns from his official quarters in Parlakhemundi on July 12. He succumbed to his injuries on July 13 while undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Cuttack while undergoing treatment.

The report of the autopsy of Soumya Ranjan’s body by the Department of Forensic Medicine & Toxicology (FM&T), SCB Medical College & Hospital states that the death of the officer was caused due to 95% burn injuries.