For the last one month, Odisha has continuously witnessed widespread protests, bandhs, gheraos of SP offices, across the State, over the abduction and murder of 24-year-old Mamita Meher, Principal of Mahalainga Sunshine Public school in Kalahandi district. Though the main accused, Govind Sahu, has been arrested by the Odisha Police under public pressure, other influential people involved in this case have still not been arrested. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is being accused of shielding his Minister Dibya Shankar Mishra in this case. Opposition parties and social organisations are agitating vociferously to exert pressure on the Naveen Patnaik Government to deliver justice to the victim. But it seems that the CM is in no mood to listen to the demands of the agitators.
Murder Linked to Sex Racket
Students of Mahalinga College alleged that Govind Sahu, managing committee president of the college and prime accused in the murder case, ran a sex racket in the school. It is said that Mamita was killed just because she knew about the sex racket run by Govind Sahu.
Mamita’s murder case is no less mysterious than any Bollywood movie. First, Mamita was kidnapped, then she was murdered. Her body was secretly burnt on the campus. After public pressure, the main accused, Govind Sahu, was arrested. He managed to escape from the police barrack, again he was arrested. All these happenings made the case very mysterious.
Minister of State for Home, Dibya Shankar Mishra is said to have close ties with Govind Sahu. There have been several videos and photos of him attending events at the school in the past and lavishing praise on Govind Sahu. Family members of Mamita also alleged that Minister Dibya Shankar Mishra was also coming to the college hostel regularly for intimate relationships with the girls.
The Odisha Police said Gobinda Sahu confessed to having killed Mamita Meher inside his car, as she had proof of his extra-marital affairs. Police said Gobinda later burnt her body and then buried it in the Mahaling village playground. In this, he was helped by two, a JCB machine operator and his driver.
BJP Demands that Minister’s Role in Murder Be Ascertained
Senior BJP leader Bijoy Mohapatra claimed that Minister of State for Home, Dibya Shankar Mishra, tried to negotiate between Mamita Meher and her employer Gobinda Sahu at his Raipur residence.
Mohapatra said that the Minister brought the two to a negotiating table at his residence in the capital of Chhattisgarh to resolve contentious issues before her killing. “The Minister attempted at his Raipur residence to reach a compromise between the two. The police have informed this to the appropriate authority of the State Government. The matter lingered on for nearly two months. Finally, she was murdered,” Mohapatra alleged.
He demanded that the call details of the Minister be examined to ascertain his role in the entire set of events leading to the murder of the lady teacher. “The case will become crystal clear if call records of Mamita, Gobinda and the Minister are verified,” he added.
Odisha State BJP Chief Samir Mohanty said the main accused, Govinda Sahu, is very close to Home Minister Dibya Shankar Mishra. Shri Mishra’s name is also coming in this case. “The police come under his department. So it is not possible to conduct a fair investigation in this case as long as Dibya Shankar Mishra continues to be the Minister. Therefore, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik must sack Mishra immediately and order a CBI inquiry into the case. BJP will continue its agitational programme in all thirty districts till our demands are fulfilled,” said Samir Mohanty
“Big names will come under the scanner if a fair investigation is conducted. It may create a problem for Naveen Patnaik. That is why they want to suppress this issue and try to destroy important evidence,” said Mohanty
“For the last one month, BJP workers have been agitating in a phased manner across the State. We will continue to come to the street until our demands are fulfilled,” he added.
BJP Central Team Meets Victims’ Family
A three-member women panel of the BJP met the parents of Mamita Meher and Balangir SP for ground assessment of facts in the murder case.
The BJP team comprising party’s Mahila Morcha National President Vanathi Srinivasan, Lok Sabha member from Haryana Sunita Duggal and West Bengal MLA Sreerupa Mitra Chaudhury reiterated the party’s demand for the resignation of Minister of State (Home), Dibya Shankar Mishra on moral grounds.
The National Commission for Women (NCW) and National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) have taken strong cognisance of Kalahandi teacher Mamita Meher’s murder case.
The NCW has written to the Odisha DGP to ensure a fair investigation into the case and urged Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to sack Minister Dibya Shankar Mishra, accused of murder.
Similarly, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has also directed the State Government to investigate the allegation of sexual exploitation of minors in the school.
This is not a simple case of crime or murder. This is a classic example of blatant misuse of the Government's power. It is a clear cut example of how civil and police administrations can protect the influential people, including Ministers involved in this case.
Odisha CM’s Lips Are Sealed
So far, Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik has the image of being Mr Clean. People of Odisha have seen him sacking his Ministers whenever allegations are levelled against them with no delay. But Mr Pattnaik is protecting his Minister Dibya Shankar Mishra and has not uttered a single word in this case, even after one month.
In this case, the fact is also established that media in Delhi have different yardsticks for murder cases. Delhi media takes an interest in murder cases only when the cases are reported in BJP-ruled States. If this type of case reports from a non-BJP ruled State, they don’t take any interest.