Paralakhemundi ACF Death Case: Parents Dissatisfied With Crime Branch Probe, Seek CBI Inquiry

Balasore: Parents of deceased Paralakhemundi Assistant Conservator of Forests (ACF) Soumya Ranjan Mohapatra have expressed their dissatisfaction over the Crime Branch’s investigation into their son’s death.

They said that they will knock the doors of the courts to seek an investigation by the CBI into their son’s death.

“They have made every effort for the culprits to escape. What kind of justice are they going to deliver to us? This what justice they have delivered to us,” said Abhiram Mohapatra, deceased Soumya Ranjan’s father in his reaction to the Crime Branch’s chargesheet and closing in his son’s death case.

Abhiram said that they will be seeking an enquiry by the CBI.

“We have filed a petition in the Orissa High Court for a CBI enquiry. We have faith in the judicial system. If we fail in the High Court, we will move the Supreme Court for justice,” said Abhiram.

He said that while his son is not going to return they will seek justice for him till their last breath.

Deceased Soumya Ranjan’s mother also expressed doubts over the investigation by the Crime Branch.

“How come my son who had 95 per cent burns give a dying declaration? Crime Branch investigation is all lies, there is no truth in it. They have killed my child. We have moved the High Court for CBI enquiry,” said Soumya Ranjan’s mother.

Crime Branch ADG Sanjeeb Panda today announced at a presser at Cuttack that the Crime Branch during its investigation into Soumya Ranjan’s death did not find any evidence that he was murdered and that the fire that caused his death was accidental.

He said that during the course of the investigation no involvement of DFO Sangram Keshari Behera or that of the cook Manmath Kumbha was found.

Panda said that the Crime Branch in its investigation found that Soumya Ranjan’s wife Bidya Bharati had acted negligently and did not attend her husband with due promptitude to put out the which engulfed the former due to apathy arising out of their strained relationship.

The Crime Branch ADG said that considering the facts, circumstances prima facie evidence has been gathered to prove Bidya Bharati is criminally liable for commission of offence under sections 285/304-A of IPC.

“Section 285 of IPC deals with respect of fire and 304A IPC deals with causing death by negligence. The punishment of offence being less than imprisonment for seven years, notice under section 41A Cr PC has been served upon the accused Bidya Bharati,” clarified Panda.

The Crime Branch ADG announced that the investigation is finally closed and chargesheet under sections 285 and 304A IPC is being submitted against accused Bidya Bharati for causing the death of her husband Soumya Ranjan by negligent conduct/omission to face her trial in the court of law.

Worth mentioning, Abhiram has already moved the Orissa High court on Monday last demanding a CBI or a High Court-monitored Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe into his son’s death.

Deceased Soumya Ranjan was 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 had stated that the death of the officer was caused due to 95% burn injuries.

As per the FIR lodged by Abhiram at Paralakhemundi Police Station, Gajapati DFO Sangram Keshari Behera allegedly had an illicit relationship with his son’s wife Bidya Bharati.

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

Following the registration of the FIR, police had launched an investigation into the ACF’s death.

While the then Gajapati SP Tapan Patnaik had given a clean chit to the DFO, the probe was handed over to the Crime Branch on August 14 following public outcry.

Later, the probe was handed over to a four-member team of the Crime Branch led by DSP Gyana Ranjan Mishra who took up a fresh investigation into the case and interrogated all the persons, directly or indirectly, involved in the case.

The Crime Branch also conducted polygraph tests of Bidya Bharati, DFO Sangram Keshari Behera and cook Manmath Kumbha.


Abhiram Mohapatra, Deceased Soumya Ranjan's Father

Deceased Soumya Ranjan's Mother