About his alleged involvement in the murder of his friend Anand Toppo last year, the commissionerate police cleared former international hockey player Birendra Lakra, who is now a police officer. Toppo, according to the police, committed suicide.
What happened to Anand?
On February 28, 2022, Lakra, a DSP for the Odisha Police, discovered Anand, 28, of the Sundargarh district, had died at his home in the Infocity neighbourhood of Bhubaneswar. Anand allegedly hanged himself to death, according to the police. Even though the reason for the murder was unclear, Anand’s father, Bandhana Toppo, claimed Lakra and his accomplice killed his son. “Arpita Priyadarshini, the investigating officer, interviewed pertinent witnesses and the complainant and verified all circumstantial evidence in addition to the postmortem and viscera reports during the investigation. Based on the medicolegal reports, it is evident that Anand’s death was caused by suicidal hanging.
What do the Officials Say?
No murder or suspicious activity is suspected, according to a senior police official. According to the autopsy report, Anand had used alcohol and barbiturates before he passed away, according to the police. Police eliminated the possibility that Anand had been given alcohol and drugs against his will. The development is significant because Orissa HC severely reprimanded Infocity police in December of last year for the delay in filing an FIR against Lakra. Since his son’s passing in February last year, Anand’s father had asked the Infocity police to file a murder charge against Lakra. On November 24, 2022, the police charged Lakra with murder following section 302 of the IPC, one month after Anand’s father filed a complaint with the high court regarding the alleged inaction of the Infocity police.
A frustrated High Court ordered the commissionerate police to send Samita Mishra, the Infocity police station’s then IIC, to the Biju Patnaik police academy instead of assigning her to a field posting for a year due to her failure to file an FIR against Lakra. Family members and Anand’s attorney stated they would decide on their next steps after reading the police’s final court submission.