Saturday, September 30, 2023

Sushmita Minz, Assistant Collector, ADM Office Rourkela, Odisha found dead in a pond

The dead body of Sushmita Minz (35), Rourkela Assistant Collector was found floating in a pond near a newly constructed sensory park within Plant Site Police Limits in Rourkela, Odisha at around at 3.15 PM on September 19, 2023 by a security guard. He alerted the Plantsite police. Her sandals and personal items, contained in a plastic bag were discovered on the water body’s steps. It is reported that she was looking after issues related to land acquisition. When she did not return home on September 16, Sandeep, her brother had lodged a missing complaint with Uditnagar police in Rourkela on September 17 after he failed to trace her at the ADM office. She was appointed as the Assistant Collector of Rourkela around 18 months ago. She was a native of Rambahal area of Rajgangpur in Sundargarh district. She was staying at her home in Rajgangpur. She used to travel to her workplace at the ADM office in Rourkela. Celestina Minz, Sushmita’s mother is of the view that she has been murdered. It has been reported that some physical injuries were observed on her body. It is inexplicable as to why Sushmita was staying in Radhika Hotel prior to her death. 

Based on the complaint, the police traced her out alive in Radhika Hotel, located near Rourkela Railway Station. Thereupon, on intimation of police, her family went to meet her at the hotel. They found her depressed, and wanted to take her home. Alhough the police had given them assurance to hand her over to them but the police neither handed over Sushmita Minz to her mother and brother nor took her to hospital for medical examination. Reportedly, instead of doing so, she was taken to the police station. Her brother and mother were helpless. They had returned home with full of pain and disappointment.

In this backdrop, the following questions:
1. When the District administration knew about d mental depression condition & communicated d same to the family members through block development officer (BDO) and child development project officer (CDPO), Gurundia, why Sushmita Minz was neither brought to the family nor taken for medical treatment?
2. When Sushmita Minz was under the police surveillance after being traced out from missing,knowing her mental depression,why she was not handed over to the family?
3. When Sushmita Minz was under the police surveillance in Radhika Hotel, near Rourkela railway station how she was found dead in a pond?
4. After the body of Sushmita Minz was identified by the family members, without registering the FIR, how was the dead body sent for post-mortem to Rourkela General Hospital?
5. When Sushmita Minz was under the police surveillance and the District Administration had knowledge that she was undergoing depression, why her family members were not informed anything about her on 18/09/2023 and 19/09/2023?

It has been reported that police received the postmortem report on September 23. The postmortem report states that she had died due to drowning. 

Sundargarh Adivasi Manch gheraoed the office of the Additional District Magistrate (ADM) demanding CBI inquiry under the supervision of SC/HC Judge into the death. It also demanded the arrest of Sundargarh Collector and Rourkela ADM in this case. 
Her brother has sought an investigation into the role of Sundargarh Collector, Rourkela ADM, Gurundia BDO, Gurundia CDPO and a woman sub-inspector in her death. The circumstances surrounding the death remains unclear. On September 28, Rourkela SP Mitrabhanu Mahapatra ordered a probe into the matter by DCP-rank officer Banita Majhi. The police investigation is likely to examine all possible angles including her pending divorce petition. If she was married, why her husband's name is not being reported.

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