The opposition BJP and Congress Thursday intensified their demand for a neutral inquiry into the death of Govind Sahu, the prime accused in the Kalahandi woman teacher’s kidnap and murder case.
BJP demanded a CBI probe into the incident, while a Congress delegation met Odisha Governor Ganeshi Lal and urged him to direct the state government for a High Court-monitored SIT probe. Raising the issue of disparity in the DNA test report of the woman teacher, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said a CBI probe into Govind Sahu’s death is the need of the hour as the incident has raised many questions.
Govind Sahu, who was the president of the school managing committee where the teacher worked, was arrested and lodged in Kantabanji sub-jail in Bolangir district died in suspicious circumstances hours before his production in a local court. His body was found hanging from a tree behind the jail’s kitchen on Tuesday.
Dharmendra Pradhan said the jail administration needs to answer how Govind Sahu died inside the prison and the manner in which he was found dead raises many questions and suspicion.
Dharmendra Pradhan said, “In a democratic set up the government is answerable to the people … The disparity in the DNA test report has added to the suspicion in the Govind Sahu death case. While the victim’s advocate said that the teacher’s DNA report does not match with that of her parents, the police claimed otherwise.” A five-member Congress delegation submitted a memorandum to the governor seeking a High Court-monitored probe by a special investigation team into the case as the government’s claim that the death is a case of suicide is “totally unacceptable”.
It also said that Govind Sahu’s wife has lodged a police complaint and demanded a CBI probe into the death of her husband.
The incident is a case of gross negligence of jail administration for which the Odisha chief minister cannot escape accountability as he is also the home minister, the petition said.
“It is natural that the question arises as to how the prisoners are under the watchful of the jail warders and when every activity is under CCTV surveillance, could Govind Sahu come out and hang himself?” it said.
The delegation comprised of MLAs Santosh Singh Saluja and Adhiraj Panigrahi besides senior leaders Lalatendu Mohapatra, Ganeswar Behera and Sivananda Ray.
Meanwhile, residents of Jharni village in Bolangir district from where the teacher hailed, Thursday celebrated her birthday as well as the death of Govind Sahu.
“We wanted Govind Sahu to get capital punishment but he hanged self,” said the teacher’s father. The teacher went missing on October 8, 2021 and Govind Sahu was arrested on October 19 after her body was exhumed from a pit in the premises of the school where she taught.
Govind Sahu was arrested for abducting and murdering the teacher with the help of his driver for allegedly threatening to expose his extramarital affairs. Both the men were later lodged in jail.
Earlier this month, the school principal Ranjit Sahu and a management committee member Kruti Chandan were arrested on charges of influencing witnesses in the murder case.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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