It took 7 years for Law to locate crime in the death of novelist Prativa Ray’s daughter-in-law

Sharmistha, eldest daughter-in-law of noted Oriya novelist Prativa Ray, had died on 23 March 2007 at Hyderabad allegedly by jumping down from fifth floor of Dwarakamai apartment. Her maternal uncle Dr. Arabinda Mohanty had alleged that the death was neither accidental not suicidal. It was a coldblooded murder, he had alleged.

Ray had threatened Mohanty with defamation for wild speculation.

The Women Commission of Orissa had initiated an enquiry with the help of its Andhra counterpart. But that somewhat fizzed out.

As initial police suspicion that psychiatric disorder might have propelled her fall to death failed to click, the Andra Pradesh Crime Branch had taken up the case after about seven months of the unnatural death of Sharmistha, who was by then in the seventh month of her pregnancy.

However, on the seventh year of the pathetic death of the brilliant software professional who had topped the B.E. bests from Birla College of Engineering and Technology, Pilani, her husband has been arrested on March 21 by the Andhra Crime Branch at Banglore whereto he had shifted from Hyderabad after a second marriage.

5 comments » Write a comment

  1. Punishing criminals finally depends upon the attitude of society. We hesitate to become witness-procedure also is more harassing to witness rather than accused. Then we are afraid of offending powerful persons. In this case, father in law of the bride was Conservator-in-Chief of Odisha. When maternal uncle told about possibility of murder, he was threatened with defamation. We have to think freely on all possibilities for detection. Despite delay, it is surprising that Andhra police has finally caught the offender.

    • Thanks dear Arun babu for the comments. Sometimes, years long exercise of the Police also goes barren as Courts in our system form their verdicts not on the basis of police investigation, but on the evaluation of the police investigation on the matrix of laws that lawyers interpret and case-laws support. investigation to interpretation of laws/case laws

  2. What’s your age , by the way, Mr.Pattanayak? Eighty something.You look every bit of it. Seems to me there are strong tinges of senility in your writings.Why don’t you rely on younger journalists and retire?What happened to objective journalism?Or did’nt you ever go to school?

  3. Thanks Mr Pattanayak for highlghting what Mrs. Prativa Ray, her IPS son-in-law and her whole family have been trying to supress for so long. Justice has to be served for an innocent girl, especially when the perpetrator misuses influence. Shame on Anwesh’s friends and family, who are posting distasteful comments to protect the guilty. Sadly, in India, it still is so easy to paint even an educated woman a mentally imbalanced one, in order to show that she herself is responsible for her unnatural death.

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