Bolangir: It has been over 18 days since Mamita Meher, the principal of Sunshine Public School at Mahaling in Kalahandi district, was kidnapped and murdered allegedly by Gobinda Sahu, the president of the school managing committee, but the police have failed to make any significant progress in the case.
So far, the police probe is mired in controversy. It is alleged that the police are making all out efforts to destroy the evidence in the case. In fact, the actions of the police as well as the investigation process have come under scanner.
The case is becoming murkier by the day as the prime accused in the case Gobinda Sahu is said to be a trusted aide of Odisha Minister of State (Home) Dibyashankar Mishra. According to reports, the police are more inclined to destroy evidence in the case than in conducting a proper inquiry to unravel the mystery behind the murder.
Various political parties have demanded an impartial probe into the case and the resignation or dismissal of the minister. Their cadres have been staging agitations at various places since last few days. However, a close scrutiny of police probe throws up several questions related to the case.
Reports said that the deceased’s brother Bunty Meher had lodged a complaint regarding Mamita’s kidnapping at Sindhekela police station October 12 following which the police picked up Gobinda Sahu and brought his car to the police station. Gobinda was questioned on this issue and later he was taken to the Titilagarh police barrack, October 17. There he was kept under detention, guarded by three constables and a police officer.
However, despite the tight security, Gobinda gave a slip to the police and escaped from the barrack. Forty hours after this, he was nabbed from his sister’s sugarcane field at Budhipadar village under Bongomunda police limits in this district.
Immediately after his arrest, DIG (North) Deepak Kumar organised a press conference stating that Gobinda strangled Mamita Meher to death inside his car as he was apprehending that Mamita might disclose his extra-marital affairs before others. Kumar also said that Gobinda, after killing Mamita, went to Mahaling and buried her body in an under-construction stadium, where a pit was dug from before.
Later, police arrested Gobinda’s close aide Radheshyam and picked up five persons for questioning. Two others, a JCB driver Pushkar Bhoi and Munsi Gupteshwar Tandi were given clean chits after they agreed to turn approvers in the case.
Apart from recovering some pieces of bones, a gold chain, a pair of anklets, a key ring, a bag and some hair, the police had failed to recover the body of Mamita or her mobile phone. Police and the family members of the deceased have claimed that Mamita’s mother had identified these articles as those of the victim. The DIG had said that that the recovered skeletal remains and hair would undergo DNA test for which police have collected the blood samples of her parents.
However, police are yet to tell what other proof they have collected regarding the case during last the 13 days. Police have said that Gobinda was in an extra-marital relationship with a girl student but are yet to provide details on the issue.
Police said Gobinda has admitted to the crime after being taken on remand. The DIG and SP personally visited the stadium to collect more evidences. However, police are tight-lipped on the Room No. 20 of the ladies hostel at Sunshine English Medium School at Mahaling, which has added to the mystery. Intriguingly, while all other rooms in the hostel had similar locks, only this room had a different lock. It is alleged that police are not taking this issue seriously.
Moreover, the DIG and SP are reportedly giving different statements before the media regarding the case. The way Gobinda Sahu was taken back to the judicial custody at the dead in the wee hours of Monday after his police remand ended has only added to the mystery. Gobinda was taken to the reserve police barrack through the rear gate of the SP office at 4am, Monday, and later produced at Bongomunda JMFC court.