Odisha police on Sunday lodged case of murder against Malkangiri district collector Manish Agrawal and three others on direction of a judicial magistrate in the case of death of the collector’s personal assistant under mysterious circumstances, said the police.
The order was given in the mysterious death case of Debanarayan Panda, PA of the collector.
“We have formed an SIT in this case following the orders of the court. A deputy SP has been put in-charge of the investigation,” said a senior police official. Agrawal did not comment on the developments.
Early this month, Banaja Panda, the wife of Debanarayan Panda, former personal assistant of Malkangiri district collector Manish Agarwal, had moved the court of SDJM in Malkangiri, seeking lodging of case of murder against the IAS officer and three others alleging that her husband may have been murdered since he allegedly came to know about the involvement of the collector and others in corruption.
Alleging lack of transparency and efficiency in the investigation process, she claimed that the CCTV footage of the district collector’s office has been tampered with.
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On December 27 last year, the collector’s personal assistant had gone missing from his office. Next day, his body was recovered from Satiguda dam in Malkangiri town. His motorcycle and helmet were found lying near the dam. Though police had initially registered a suicide case and later an unnatural death case into the incident, family members of the deceased had alleged that they were being threatened by cops while investigation was underway.
In January this year, Congress in Malkangiri had called for a 24-hour bandh demanding the arrest of the district collector over the case.
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