Malkangiri: National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has sought a detailed action taken report (ATR) from the Director General, Odisha Police pertaining to the alleged murder of former Malkangiri Collector Manish Agarwal’s personal assistant (PA) Deba Narayan Panda.
State Crime Branch has neither quizzed any of the accused persons including a senior official nor collected their respective call details.
The human rights body also queried as to why prime accused in the case has not been arrested yet. The DGP has to submit his report on or before March 18, a letter written by the Commission insisted.
It is pertinent to mention here that expressing her dissatisfaction over the slow pace of investigation by state-probing agency, Panda’s wife Banaja moved the NHRC seeking an intervention in this regard.
Erstwhile Odisha DGP Abhay had ordered for Crime Branch probe in the death case of Panda, which still remains an unsolved mystery.
Wife of the deceased had earlier lodged a complaint January 28, 2021 at local SDJM Court against six cops. She said that there has been unnecessary delay in the probe and that she has been receiving threats to withdraw the case. Banaja demanded for an impartial probe regarding the death of her husband and said in her complaint that the case should be investigated by the CBI. It was only after filing of this petition that Abhay had ordered Crime Branch to probe the case.
The personal assistant Panda had gone missing December 27, 2019 under mysterious circumstances. His decomposed body was fished out from Satiguda Dam in Malkangiri district. Police also recovered his motorcycle and helmet from near the dam site the very next day.
The district police had initially registered an unnatural death case. Panda’s wife Banaja had not agreed to this perception and insisted that it was a case of pre-planned murder. She had then lodged an FIR against the former district Collector including three police officials.
Malkangiri Police had registered a murder case November 15, 2020 against the former district Collector of Malkangiri Manish Agarwal and three others over the death of his personal assistant Panda under Sections 302, 506, 201, 204, 120(B) and 34 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The murder case was registered following a directive issued by the Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate (SDJM) court in Malkangiri.
Subsequently, the then police DIG Shefeen Ahamed K of South-Western Range had conducted a probe into the incident and recorded the statements of around 20 persons in connection with the case.