Reported by Ranjan Rath
Rayagada, Feb 6:
In what is easily the most significant deposition so far in the ongoing trial of the murder case of Itishree Pradhan, a lady teacher of Tikiri Upper Primary School in Odisha’s Rayagada district in November 2013, the doctor of a government hospital at Vishakhapatnam who had conducted the post mortem of the deceased today affirmed that it was a clear case of homicide.
Deposing before the District Sessions Court here this morning, Prof (Dr) Y Paiti Raju of King George Hospital (KGH), Vishakhapatnam, emphatically ruled out the possibility that it could be a case of suicide.
Coming as it does just before the CBI is set to begin its probe into the sensational case, Dr Raju’s statement is a significant development that has the potential to influence the course of the future investigation.
Besides Dr Raju, two other witnesses also recorded their statements in the court today: they were police videographer Debi Prasad Patnaik and dismissed police officer and former IIC of Tikiri Police Station Sujit Kumar Sai.
“The court will record the statements of 12 witnesses in the fourth phase deposition that will continue till February 11. All case records would be handed over to the CBI by the end of the day,” said Rajendra Prasad Sahu, counsel for the Crime Branch, which was investigating the case so far.
Meanwhile, scotching the reports about the arrival of a three-member CBI team in the district to probe the case, Rayagada SP K Siva Subramani said though the Supreme Court and the CBI have asked the district police to cooperate, the CBI officials are yet to arrive in the district.
It may be mentioned that the Supreme Court, in an order on January 20 had asked the CBI to probe the incident.