Aggrieved by the unusual delay and lack of seriousness in investigation, wife of the deceased Banaja Panda has alleged that police is supporting Manish Agarwal and all efforts are being made to suppress the case. According to her during past one year her family has not been contacted by the investigating authorities regarding the case. Her family has also not received any information about progress of the investigation process. She alleged that the then collector was involved in corruption and death of her husband was related to the fact that he did not agree to the ‘dark deeds’ of the IAS officer.
Speaking to Argus News, Banaja alleged that police is pressurizing her with an aim to suppress the case. Despite directive of the court, her family is not getting any protection. She alleged that former SP of Malkangiri, Rishikesh Khilari had destroyed evidences related to alleged murder of her husband. She wanted an impartial investigation of the case.
Having no other way out, Banaja has put forward 50 questions before Malkangiri police through Right to Information (RTI) Act. Yet she has no hopes to get any answers. According to her she had asked the same questions to the Crime Branch authorities. But never got any reply.
Her questions include:
*Who gave the missing report of Deba Narayan at the police station?
*Who was directed to search out Deba Narayan?
*Did the police find out the location of Deba Narayan by tracking his phone number?
*Why were the collector’s data operator and steno sitting at the police station at early morning?
*How did the police know that Deba Narayan’s body was submerged in Satiguda dam?
*What is there in SI Rudra Prasad Muduli’s report?
*The UD case related to Deba Narayan’s death filed on which date, at what time, basing on whose report?
After recovery of Deba Narayan’s body, Malkangiri police had termed it to be an incident of suicide. He had gone missing on December 27, 2019 and his body was recovered on the next day. Cases had been filed against the then Malkangiri collector Manish Agarwal and three other staff on the direction of the Court of the Sub Divisional Judicial Magistrate (SDJM), Malkangiri. All of them were booked under Sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence), 204 (destruction of document or electronic record), 302 (murder), 506 (intimidation), and 34(common intention) of Indian Penal Code. The court directive came in response to a petition filed by the wife of the deceased. Manish Agarwal had been transferred from Malkangiri as day after the court order. In January 2021, Odisha Crime Branch had taken up investigation of the case.