Bhubaneswar, December 20: Gobinda Sahu, the prime accused in the sensational lady teacher Namita Meher murder case in Kalahandi district, committed suicide in the Kantabanji Sub-Jail in Bolangir district on Tuesday.
The incident took place hours before he was scheduled to appear in the Kamtabanji JMFC Court.
According to jail authorities, Sahu was found hanging with a gamcha (soft towel) and was rushed to the nearest hospital, but doctors declared him dead.
Even as the Prison authorities had initiated an inquiry by a DIG-rank officer, DGP Sunil Kumar Bansal has ordered a Crime Branch probe into the matter.
Sahu was the key accused in the alleged kidnapping and murder of Mamita Meher, who was working as an English teacher at Sunshine English Medium School in Mahaling of Kalahandi district where Sahu was the managing committee president.
Sahu’s wife Susama alleged that her husband had been murdered.
“My husband was mentally strong and could never take such an extreme step. She had last talked to him around 11 AM on Monday. He has been murdered,” Susama told media persons at Mahaling.
On October 8, 2021, Meher, a resident of Jharni village in Bolangir district, had gone missing. On October 19, her decomposed body was exhumed by police from an under-construction stadium near the school at Mahaling.
It was alleged that Sahu murdered Meher, chopped her body into pieces and burned it before burying. He was arrested on October 19.
During police probe, it was revealed that Mamita had threatened of exposing Sahu’s extra-marital affairs after which he allegedly strangled her to death inside his car.
The gruesome murder had snowballed into a major controversy in the State with the Opposition demanding removal of the then Minister of State (Home) Dibya Shankar Mishra, alleging Sahu was his close associate. Mishra was also accused of visiting the institute regularly.
Sahu’s alleged suicide triggered political unrest in the State with the BJP and Congress alleging that he was murdered.
Meanwhile, the Odisha Human Rights Commission took suo motu cognizance of the case and sought report from the Special DG (Prison) and the Balangir SP within 15 days.