Reported by Ranjan Rath
Rayagada Nov 19:
The first phase of recording of statements in the trial of the high profile murder case of Itishree Pradhan, a teacher in the Tikri primary school in Rayagad district of Odisha, came to an end in Odisha on Wednesday.
The three witnesses who recorded their statements on Wednesday were ex-Tahasildar Prashant Das, dismissed DI Dharanidhar Behera and current District Educational Officer (DEO) Premanand Rout.
Prashant Das admitted to have recorded the statement of Itishree where she explained the entire incident herself and the first dying declaration of Itishree in the presence of the doctor and Harapriya Satapathy, wife of the headmaster of the Tikri school where Itishree worked. He also informed the court that ex-DI Dharanidhar behera had permitted Itishree to stay in the hostel.
DEO Premanand Rout informed the court that he had handed over all relevant papers to the crime branch of Odisha police and the State Comission for Women (SCW) after the incident.
A total of eight witnesses have recorded their statements in the district and sessions court of Rayagada so far in the first phase out of the 74 witnesses named in the charge sheet filed by the crime branch. The statements of all eight witnesses recorded so far have gone against dismissed SI Netranand Dandasena.
However, the lawyer of Dandasena told OST that the statements of witnesses so far don’t prove the involvement of the suspended SI in the murder. “If the crime branch fails to arrest the main accused, who wore blue trousers as per Itishree’s dying declaration, Netranand would be proved innocent,” he said.