Reported by Archana Mohapatra
Rayagada, Jun 10:
The CBI today began its fifth phase investigation into the sensational murder of Itishree Pradhan, a lady teacher of Tikiri Upper Primary School who succumbed to grievous burn injury on November 1, 2013, four days after she was set ablaze in her room on the school premises by some unidentified persons on October 27.
Sources said the CBI DSP M Pathak and Inspector RD Sharma, after reaching here yesterday, began the fifth phase probe with a review of the charge sheet submitted by the state Crime Branch police at the District Sessions Judge Court.
Later, they collected the records of statements of Crime Branch DSP Alok Das, the then Inspector-in-Charge of Schools, Tikiri, Sujit Sai and the then headmaster of Tikiri Upper Primary School, Chandrasekhar Panda, made before the District Sessions Judge Janab Mohammad Ajmal.
The CBI officials later recorded the statement of Bishnu Prasad Panda, counsel of Netrananda Dandasena, who was headmaster of Tikiri Upper Primary School when the incident took place.
From there, they went to Malkhana inside the court premises and had a detailed examination of articles starting from match box to the partially burnt saree of Itishree seized by the local police and the Crime Branch.
Before winding up the day’s investigation, the CBI officials went to the district jail and collected a detailed account of the visitors who had met Netrananda.
Sources said the CBI might begin fresh investigation tomorrow as it seems to have found some clues during examination of seized articles at the Malkhana.
Besides, the Central investigating agency has also begun probe from another angle as it suspects that the lady teacher might have committed suicide out of panic after the promotion of Netrananda to IIC of Schools by the School and Mass Education department.
Pradhan succumbed to grievous burn injuries sustained after she was set ablaze in her room on the school premises by some unidentified persons on October 27 and breathed her last at a Vizag hospital on November 1, 2013, four days after the incident.
Meanwhile, Chandrasekhar Panda and his wife Harapriya Satpathy have strongly refuted reports that the CBI has conducted polygraph tests on them and has asked them not to leave Rayagada carried i a section of the media.
“We have thoroughly assisted the CBI in its investigation into the incident. Whenever they have asked us, we have told them everything. Besides, we have cooperated with them as per their request,” the couple told newsmen here today.
Stating that they have lost their mental balance following misleading information about them in the media, they claimed that they are not involved in the incident.
“We are ready to undergo punishment if we are found guilty,” the couple asserted.