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Odisha Collector, Office Staff Booked in Personal Assistant's Murder Case

Representative Image

Representative Image

Following an order of the sub-divisional judicial magistrate's court here, a case was filed against Collector Manish Agarwal and three staff of his office on charges of murdering his PA and destroying evidence.

The police on Sunday registered a case against the district magistrate-cum-collector of Malkangiri and three other staff members of his office in connection with the mysterious death of his former personal assistant (PA) last year.

Following an order of the sub-divisional judicial magistrate's court here, a case was filed against Collector Manish Agarwal and three staff of his office on charges of murdering his PA and destroying evidence.

Agarwal was not available for comment. The body of the collector's PA, Deb Narayan Panda, was found in a reservoir near Malkanigi town on December 28 last year, a day after he had gone missing.

Initially, it was suspected that Panda died by suicide. However, around six months after the incident, his wife alleged that he was murdered by the Malkangiri collector and some of his office staff. Though the PA's family had lodged a written complaint, it was not registered by the police.

After Panda's family moved the Odisha Human Rights Commission, it directed the state director general of police to investigate the matter. Accordingly, the DIG southern western range undertook spot visits and inquired about the PA's death. Panda's family members also filed a case at the SDJM's court praying for a direction to the police to register a murder case against the Malkangiri collector and three others.

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