Nearly three years after a 28-year-old woman teaching assistant was burnt to death in her sleep in Rayagada district of Odisha, a local sessions court on Tuesday sentenced a former school inspector to life on charges of hatching the conspiracy of her murder.
In his 100-page judgment, Judge Janab Mohammed Ajmal said that Netrananda Dandasena, the former school inspector, felt threatened after having “failed in all his attempts to subjugate the victim”, and conspired to kill the victim. The accused, who felt his local influence in society plummeting, clearly stood to gain by removing her from his way, the judge said.
Dandasena, who has been dismissed from the service and is currently behind bars, has been convicted under sections 302, 109 and 120(B) of the IPC.
Itishree Pradhan, resident of Muninda village in Puri, was set on fire while she was sleeping in her room on October 27, 2013. The murder triggered a huge political uproar as in her dying declarations Pradhan had purportedly blamed Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, then Koraput BJD MP Jayram Pangi, former Raygada district collector and SP for not taking necessary steps.