Reported by Ranjan Rath
Rayagada, Feb 18:
The death of Dhaneswar Prusty, District Welfare Officer (DWO), who had committed suicide inside his office room in Odisha’s Rayagada district on Monday, has taken a new turn as the wife of the deceased has lodged a complaint with the police alleging that her husband was under severe mental stress due to frequent strictures by the collector and the PA, ITDA of the district.
“My husband was frequently harassed and humiliated by the higher authorities including the district collector Sashi Bhusan Padhy and the Project Administrator (PA), Integrated Tribal Development Authority (ITDA) Gorachand Gamang in the review meetings,” alleged Kamini Sahu, wife of the deceased, in her complaint lodged with the Rayagada Town Police Station on Monday.
She also said as her husband was in a state of depression, she had approached the district collector Sashi Bhusan Padhy several times and asked him why such harassment is meted out to a senior official. But there was no response from the collector.
Talking to OST, Sahu said she was pressurised by the Town Police and some staff not to lodge complaint against the district administration. “But as I told them that I would lodge the complaint with the police at my native place, police later accepted my complaint,” she added.
“It is really a sad incident. He was a calm and quite person and an able officer. He was always trying to improve his work. Investigation would reveal the circumstantial evidence which forced him to take such extreme step,” the collector said.
Though the collector did not reply to a question on the pressure put by the district administration on Prusty, he however, said there would be always pressure in the work.
“Rayagada is a big district where nearly 45,000 students reside in the hostels. Hence, considering this, the job of the DWO is very important.
Talking to the media, Laxman Kumar Patel, additional SP, Rayagada, informed that the police, after receiving the complaint from the wife of the deceased, have registered case an Unnatural Death (UD) case under section-3 and started investigation.
Meanwhile, Rayagada SP K Siva Subramani informed the media that a scientific team from Bhubaneswar would arrive in Rayagada today for an on-the-spot investigation into the case.
Stating that the Rayagada SDPO Y Jagannath Rao has been entrusted to probe into the case, he assured that the investigation would be impartial.