The mysterious death of Assistant Conservator of Forest (ACF) Soumya Ranjan Mohapatra has just revealed certain information which points in completely different direction than the version shared by his wife, who was present with him at home at the time of his death. A forensic science team reportedly found no evidence that could back the theory that a fire incident had occurred in his official quarters that subsequently led to his death.
Soumya Ranjan’s father’s lawyer Parthasarathi Nayak said,
The quarters was opened on Friday in the presence of police, an executive magistrate and a scientific team using a key that was in possession of the Divisional Forest Officer (DFO). The circumstantial evidence in the house indicates that no fire had occurred inside it.
Nayak further added,
The quarters was closed since July 12, the day Soumya Ranjan reportedly suffered burn injuries. Therefore, there must have been some foul smell of burning of human flesh in the quarters. However, we found no stench in the house when it was opened.
It must be noted that the victim husband had suffered nearly 90 per cent burn injuries. However, the lawyer questioned that despite the alleged fire incident occurred in the quarters, other articles in the home should have been destroyed as well. However, all the articles in the quarters were found intact. The lawyer alleged,
We only found some burnt clothes on the floor. It implies that Soumya Ranjan was burnt somewhere else and then shifted to his quarters. There must be involvement of multiple persons in the act.
While carrying out searches of the quarters, the scientific team collected some handwritten notes.
Two days ago, the police had questioned the young forest officer’s cook Manmath Kumbh, who was present at the quarters when the alleged fire mishap occurred. However, DFO Sangram Keshari Behera against whom a murder case has been registered is yet to be questioned. According to victim’s husband’s family, they suspected an affair between the DFO and their son’s wife, however, both accused had categorically denied the same.
32-year-old Soumya married six months ago in December 2020. He suffered 90 per cent burns at his quarters at Parlakhemundi on the night of July 11. He succumbed during treatment at a private hospital in Cuttack two days later.
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