On Sunday (November 15, 2020), Malkangiri police registered a murder case against Manish Agarwal and three others of the district collector's office, following a directive issued by Malkangiri Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate (SDJM) court in connection with the death of his personal assistant Deb Narayan Panda last December.
District Collector Manish Agarwal and three others were booked under the Indian Penal Code, 1860 in connection with the death of the collector’s personal assistant Deb Narayan Panda. Deb Narayan had gone missing on December 27 last year.
Banaja Panda had filed a missing complaint with the Malkangiri police. The police had launched a search operation and found Panda’s bike and helmet near Satiguda dam the following day. His body was later found floating in from the Satiguda reservoir. It was then suspected that he might have died of suicide. However, around six months later, Narayan's wife Banaja and family members alleged that he was murdered by the Malkangiri collector and some of his subordinates. The family subsequently lodged a written complaint, but it was not immediately registered by the police. It was only after Panda's family moved to the Odisha Human Rights Commission; an investigation was initiated. Accordingly, the DIG, southern western range, undertook spot visits, and inquired about the assistant's death. Panda's family members also filed a case before the SDJM's court, praying for a direction to the police to register a murder case against the Malkangiri collector and three others.