Prime accused in Odisha teacher’s murder case commits suicide in jail

Gobinda Sahu, the prime accused in the sensational murder of female school teacher Mamita Meher in 2021, allegedly committed suicide in the Kantabanji sub-jail in Balangir district on Tuesday, a police officer said.

“I received a call from the jailer that Gobinda Sahu made an attempt to end his life. When they took Sahu to the hospital, the doctor declared him brought dead,” said DIG (Prisons), Subhakanta Mishra.

The DIG of Sambalpur has been asked to conduct an inquiry and submit a report within 24 hours, Mishra said.

“The prime accused in the Mamita Meher murder case was supposed to appear in court on Tuesday. When the escort team was going to the sub-jail, we got the information that Sahu had committed suicide,” Deepak Kumar, DIG, Sambalpur, told mediapersons.

A thorough investigation will be conducted into the matter as per the guidelines issued by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the Supreme Court, Kumar added.

Meanwhile, Odisha DGP Sunil Bansal has ordered a Crime Branch probe into the death of Sahu.

Kumar said videography of the post-mortem of Sahu will be conducted and the NHRC will be intimated about the suicide within 24 hours.

On the orders of the DGP, a four-member team led by DSP Bijay Mallick has left for Kantabanji for taking over the inquiry into the case. Forensic experts will assist in the investigation, sources said.

Meanwhile, Sahu’s wife Susama alleged that her husband was murdered.

“He was a mentally strong person. If he wanted to commit suicide, he would have done it much earlier, not after passing of more than a year. It was a pre-planned murder,” she alleged.

Holding the jail administration responsible for the death of her husband, Susama also demanded a CBI probe into this matter.

She has lodged a complaint with the Kegaon police station in this regard.

Taking suo-motu cognisance of the case, the Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) has directed the Special DG of prisons and Bolangir SP to submit a report within 15 days.

Opposition parties BJP and Congress have raised questions over the alleged suicide of Sahu in jail.

While the BJP demanded a CBI probe into the matter, the Congress sought an impartial or judiciary inquiry to find out under what circumstances Sahu took his life.

Mamita Meher, a resident of Turekela block in Bolangir district, was serving as a teacher at an English medium school at Mahaling in Kalahandi district. She had gone missing on October 8, 2021. On October 19, 2021, the police recovered her decomposed body from an under-construction stadium at Mahaling. She was allegedly strangled to death by Sahu, the promoter of the school.

The murder had triggered massive political controversy as the Opposition parties had alleged that former MoS for Home, Dibya Shankar Mishra, a close associate of Sahu, was involved in the murder.

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