Parlakhemundi deaths: Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik orders probe into triple suicide case
The former employees of Paralakhemundi palace were under duress following the allegation about them keeping the king under 'house arrest and misappropriating royal property'.
Bhubaneswar: A day after the mysterious deaths of former manager of Parlakhemundi palace Anang Manjari Patra and her two siblings, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday ordered a probe by Crime Branch into the incident.
"The chief minister has ordered Crime Branch of Odisha Police to probe into the mysterious death of former palace manager and her two siblings," a release issued by the chief minister's office said.
The police had on Sunday recovered bodies of the former palace manager Anang Manjari Patra, her brother and Maharaja Gopinath Gajapati Narayan Deb's ex-personal assistant (PA) Sanjay Patra and her sister Bijaylaxmi Patra in a house at Parlakhemundi. The police also found another sibling Santosh Patra in a critical condition in that house.
Both the former manager and the ex-PA were accused of keeping the ailing Maharaj Deb under "house arrest" and "misappropriation of royal family properties". Meanwhile, three suicide notes have been recovered from Anang Manjari Patra's house, DGP KB Singh told reporters.
He said the suicide notes were written in separate handwritings.
"Four persons attempted suicide in Paralakhemundi. Three of them died and one was rescued alive. He is out of danger. Once he gains consciousness, we will get details about the incident.
Meanwhile, we have recovered three suicide notes and we are examining them. We have sent forensic science team also," Singh said.
Soon after the Chief Minister ordered the probe, Special DG (Crime) BK Sharma said "A six-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) will be formed for the investigation.
The team will be led by an Additional SP and the SIT is likely to visit Parlakhemundi tomorrow (on Tuesday)."
The police had on Sunday found Sanjay Patra's body hanging from the ceiling while bodies of Anang Manjari and her sister Bijaylaxmi were found in another room of the House.
Santosh alias Tulu was rescued in critical condition from the kitchen, police said.
Though prima facie it appears that the trio had committed suicide, the government ordered a crime branch probe as the family members of the victims suspect otherwise.
Anang Manjari's brother Amulya Patra, who was staying at another house in Parlakhemundi town, blamed the local MLA, a television channel and some other local leaders of creating a situation for which the four persons attempted sucide.
He also alleged that the former employees of Paralakhemundi palace were under duress following the hue and cry over the allegation about them keeping the king under "house arrest and misappropriating royal property".
In a letter to the chief minister, the King's daughter Kalyani Devi, who is currently staying in Chennai, had urged him to inquire into the property transactions of the royal family for the past 35 years.
Cutting across party lines, local leaders had also demanded the arrest of Anang Manjari Patra and her brother Sanjay Patra.
The police had also registered a case in connection with the alleged illegal transaction of royal properties and the King being kept under "house arrest".
After the allegations were made about the Maharaj being kept under "house arrest", the Gajapati district administration had rescued him on August 15 and sent him for treatment to a private hospital in Chennai.