IAS officer planned the killings well in advance, say police


Bhubaneswar: Though his motive for killing himself and four family members is still a matter of investigation, senior IAS officer Jagadananda Panda is said to have “planned the killing well in advance”, police officials said Friday.

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According to Panda’s personal driver Upendra Munda, the senior official of the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, had test fired a few shots from his licensed revolver a day before the incident.

“A day before he stopped the car and took out his revolver. He fired a few rounds of bullets from his revolver on the way back home. I was scared. Later he re-assured me,” said Munda, his personal driver.

Panda reportedly had planned the killings well in advance and had bought a few rounds of bullets from an armoury in Bhubaneswar.

However, the police are still investigating the case and trying to establish the motive behind the killing. The police have recovered a licensed revolver from the spot of the killings.

“We have recovered a .32 bore revolver from the incident site. We will soon crack the case,” said Police Inspector General Y.B. Khurania.

Panda, 54, was an Orissa cadre Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, posted as protector general of emigrants in New Delhi. He had come to his ancestral village Deogaon in Bargarh district, about 390 km from here, on leave a few days ago.

The bureaucrat was found dead along with his wife, father and two sisters, District Superintendent of Police Ashok Kumar Biswal told IANS.

Panda’s only son, who managed to survive despite being hit by a bullet on his head, is undergoing treatment at a hospital. His condition is stated to be serious.

The incident came to light after Panda’s mother came down from the first floor of the house and found the victims. She then shouted for help. Some villagers said they too had heard the gun shots.

“Panda’s service revolver was found at the spot. We suspect he might have killed himself after firing at his family members,” Biswal said, adding the exact cause of the deaths would be known only after investigation.

Police found a few notes from Panda’s house and said they were taking the help of forensic experts to check their authenticity.

“The notes indicate that he was under severe depression,” said a senior police official involved in the investigation.

He added that the bureaucrat was under stress after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) allegedly raided his homes in Deogaon and New Delhi this month. He was also worried on account of some property dispute among his family members.