VLW death case turns murkier- The New Indian Express www.newindianexpress.com


By Express News Service

JAJPUR: The controversy over the death of Haridaspur village level worker (VLW) and in-charge Panchayat Executive Officer Smitarani Biswal turned murkier with the victim’s father and the accused’s wife refusing to buy the police version of the incident.
Smitarani’s father Sadananda Biswal alleged that Jajpur SP Charan Singh Meena was trying to protect prime accused Rupesh Bhadra by assassinating the character of his daughter, who was known as an honest and transparent Government servant.

“This is highly condemnable. This is a clear case of murder as my daughter was headstrong and would never have committed suicide,” he said. While investigation is underway and charge-sheet in the case is yet to be filed, how can the SP come to the conclusion that Smitarani has committed suicide? he questioned.

Sadananda further said he has lost all hope of getting justice for his daughter. “I have no faith in the Jajpur SP. Police higher-ups and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik should look into the matter,” he said.
Refuting the police version, Rupesh’s wife and Haridaspur sarpanch Madhusmita Bhadra claimed that her husband was innocent and has been trapped in the case. “Smitarani was not on good terms with her in-laws and my husband was helping her. We had a good rapport with the family of Smitarani. We even used to tour places together,” she said and added that the VLW was eyeing her husband. 

On Saturday, the SP said Rupesh, husband of Haridaspur sarpanch Madhusmita Bhadra, was in a relationship with Smitarani, which continued even after their marriage. The postmortem report stated that there was no injury on Smitarani’s body and she died of asphyxiation, he said.  

Meanwhile, the BJP has called a 12-hour Jajpur bandh demanding a CBI inquiry into the case.  
Smitarani had gone to Haridaspur panchayat to disburse old age pension to beneficiaries on Wednesday. After disbursing pension at Bhadanga village, she went to Rupesh’s guesthouse in Baligari area in the latter’s car to freshen up. Later, she was allegedly found dead in Rupesh’s personal room in the guesthouse.

Police on Saturday arrested Rupesh for abetment of Smitarani’s suicide.

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