BHUBANEWAR: As Odisha police continue to question Gobind Sahu, chairman of a school management committee for the second day, accused of killing Mamita Meher, a teacher at her school in Kalahandi district, documents Officials suggest that Sahu was a regular recipient of government largesse despite running a private school in the sleepy village of Mahaling.
The 52-year-old civilian entrepreneur turned educational entrepreneur was arrested Tuesday in a sugarcane field in Bolangir district. Police on Wednesday claimed he confessed to strangling a 26-year-old teacher, Mamita Meher, in her car on October 8 after she allegedly threatened to expose his “extramarital” affairs. Meher worked as the principal of Sunshine English Middle School in Mahaling village, one of three educational institutes established by Sahu in the area.
The remains of a teacher buried in the school stadium
“It was a premeditated murder and Sahu had a pit dug in a stadium under construction at the school two days before killing Meher. He burned the body with gasoline and wood, then buried it in the grave. Later, he went with Mehr’s family members to file a complaint with the local police station about the woman’s disappearance, ”said Deputy Inspector General of Police Dipak Kumar. Police have yet to find the teacher’s cell phone, which is seen as vital evidence in the case.
On Thursday, police arrested Radhe, Sahu’s associate, who allegedly dug the grave before the murder.
As the gruesome details of the murder gradually emerge, the opposition has stepped up pressure on leader Biju Janata Dal and Minister of State for the Interior Dibya Shankar Mishra due to his close ties to Govind Sahu who has reinvented himself. as an educator in recent years. .
Government records indicate that Sahu institutions were also the main recipients of public funds, often in violation of government guidelines.
A report by the Controller and Auditor General (CAG) in 2014 indicated that a cement concrete road was built under PMGSY at the science college headed by him in Mahaling de la ??4 lakh sanctioned by the Western Odisha Development Council (WODC), the government body began in 2000 for the establishment of community projects in 10 districts of western Odisha, infamous for famine, sale of children and labor migration. The CAG audit found that in 2012-2013, the WODC sanctioned another ??6 lakh cement concrete road under PMGSY to the women’s hostel as well as the construction of the hostel side wall.
The CAG report said both projects were out of order because they were carried out by depriving needy sectors.
WODC records show he is sanctioned ??5 lakh in 2015-16 for the construction of a science college library room although it is an unassisted college. In 2020-21, the WODC sanctioned ??10 lakh for the construction of a cement concrete road leading to the university campus while another ??5 lakh were donated for the construction of an additional classroom at the science college.
Since 2010-11, when Gobind Sahu first established the upper secondary school in Mahaling with the help of local politicians, he has received stable government funds, including MPLAD and MLALAD funds.
“He got special treatment”
“Although the three educational institutes headed by Sahu are not eligible for any government grants, he has obtained government assistance from different sources, including the WODC due to its proximity to leaders who transcend party lines. The ministers regularly visit the college and the college has no problem adding more and more seats as we run from pillar to post, ”said Kishore Satpathy, who runs an upper secondary school and one of the 21 unassisted colleges in the Kalahandi district.
Satpathy said that of the 2,320 upper secondary science places offered in Kalahandi district, the Sahu school alone has captured 488 places, or just over 20% of the total. “In terms of scientific seats, his college has the second highest number of seats in the entire KBK region,” he said, alleging that “it would not have been possible without political patronage.”
WODC President Asit Tripathy and Managing Director Prem Chandra Chaudhury did not respond to calls to respond to allegations that Sahu institutions were given preferential treatment.
Started as an entrepreneur
Sahu started out as a civil engineering contractor and ventured into the education sector in 2010 when he established the Mahalinga Anchalika Mahavidyalaya, a high school near the Kalahandi-Bolangir border, with the help of local politicians. Those who know him have said he enjoys the respectability that comes with the business. He couldn’t hold on to it for too long.
Role in paper leakage
In 2013, he was charged with divulging chemistry questions during the upper secondary annual exam, was charged in the case and is due to stand trial.
For Gobind Sahu who was known to have friends in all the right places, this was only a temporary setback. In 2016, he founded Sunshine English Middle School, which was considered one of the most sought after places by students in the area.
Political links displayed
A politician from Kalahandi said that for someone who could pass his registration exam with great effort, Sahu became known as an educator who was able to access WODC funds and funds available from MPs and MPs in because of its ties to politicians.
In a YouTube video posted by Sahu High School last year, Sahu flaunts his contacts in In this context, he appoints the Minister of State for Home and Energy, DS Mishra, the BJD politician whom the opposition demands should be sacked.
“He (DS Mishra) has visited the college regularly after becoming an MP in 2014 and almost every month after he became a minister in 2018. He treats any problem of the college as his own. He visits our college for cultural events and encourages the students, ”Sahu says in the video.
Calls and messages to Mishra asking for his reaction about his alleged closeness to Sahu went unanswered.
Meanwhile, in the districts of Kalahandi and Bolangir, political protests raged demanding the dismissal of Mishra from the government of Naveen Patnaik on the grounds that the minister provided political clout to Sahu. National Commission for Women President Rekha Sharma wrote to Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday demanding that Mishra and Law Minister Pratap Jena be sacked from the ministry, as a proper police investigation was not possible if they continued.
In Bolangir district, BJP activists imposed a bandh on Thursday a day after they organized a similar bandh in the town of Bhawanipatna. Kalahandi Zilla Parishad President Namita Rani Sahu claimed that Mishra often spent the night in the college run by Sahu instead of her constituents in the assembly constituency of Junagarh.
The late teacher’s uncle, Kaushik Meher, alleged that she may have been killed not only because of Sahu’s extramarital affairs, but also because of meat trafficking.
“Mamita confronted Gobinda Sahu, who is the chairman of the Sunshine School management committee and one of the founders of Anchalika Mahavidyalaya about the sex racket taking place in the hostel. She had a heated argument with Sahu a year ago about the activities at the hostel, ”said Kaushik Meher, her uncle.
The ruling BJD said mere association with Sahu did not prove DS Mishra’s complicity in the crime. “The leaders of all political parties attend receptions organized by educational and other institutions. But a wrong committed by a person of an institution cannot be linked to a person who attended a function in that institution as a guest, ”said Pramila Mallick, head of the BJD.