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Women's panel recommends CID probe into village worker's


Press Trust of India Bhubaneswar
The Odisha State Commission for Women said on Monday it was "not satisfied" with the police probe into the death of village-level worker Smitarani Biswal and recommended a CID inquiry into the case, even as BJP activists staged a protest, seeking CBI's intervention.
Biswal, a panchayat extension officer in Haridaspur, Jajpur district, was on October 16 found hanging at a private guest house owned by Rupesh Bhadra, considered to have close links with the ruling BJD leadership.
Bhadra was arrested a day after on charge of abetting suicide.
Claiming that Biswal was murdered, the saffron party protesters alleged that SCW chairperson Minati Behera, being a BJD member, did not conduct a fair probe into the case.
Rejecting the allegation, Behera said she had personally inquired into the matter on October 18, just two days after the incident.
"The commission is not satisfied with the investigation being carried out by the Jajpur district police. That is why we have recommended a CID probe into the case," the SCW chairperson told reporters.
A team of the women's commission members has also met the family members of Biswal, as part of the probe, she said.
"We have probed different angles of the incident. However, it is not possible to reveal the findings of our probe now as it may affect the investigation by the local police," Behera said.
State Mahila BJP chief Pravati Parida, who was a part of the protest outside the SCW office, however, said Behera's "claim of carrying out a personal inquiry was untrue".
She contended that a "CBI probe was necessary to find out the truth in the case".
Jajpur Superintendent of Police Charan Singh Meena had earlier said that Biswal was romantically involved with Bhadra, prompting the BJP to file a complaint against the senior officer in all 19 police stations of the district on charges of influencing the investigation and assassinating the character of the deceased.
The women's wing of Odisha Congress had also gheraoed the office of Meena on October 23, demanding immediate withdrawal of the remark and a CBI probe into the death of Biswal.

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First Published: Oct 28 2019 | 5:45 PM IST

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