New Delhi/Bhubaneswar: The Supreme Court Tuesday directed the CBI to probe the murder of a woman teacher in Odisha, a lawyer said.
Itishree Pradhan, who was set afire by some miscreants in Rayagada district, died Nov 1, 2013 after battling severe burn injuries.
The apex court asked the CBI director to form an investigating team within a week to nab the prime accused, who is still at large even after more than a year passed to the incident. It also asked to him submit a report within two months.
"Inordinate delay in the investigation by the state crime branch has given sufficient ground to order for an CBI probe into the incident with immediate effect," Suresh Tripathy, counsel for the Bengaluru-based petitioner Sudipta Lenka, told reporters in Delhi.
After the apex court's ruling, opposition Congress and BJP hit out at the ruling Biju Janata Dal and police for failing to nab the culprit.
"The state government had opposed the CBI probe knowing that it would expose the inefficiency of it to provide protection to the lady teacher. Police have also failed to nab the culprit," BJP leader Bijay Mohapatra said in Bhubaneswar.
BJP state unit president KV Singhdeo said there was a demand from all quarters in the state for an impartial probe into the incident.
"In her dying declaration, Itishree had held both the district collector and district police chief responsible for the incident. But the state government did not initiate any action against them," said Singhdeo.
Leader of opposition and senior Congress leader Narasingh Mishra said the court directed to conduct CBI inquiry after finding it that the investigation into the case was not impartial.
While BJD spokesperson Amar Satpathy said the state government would cooperate with the central investigating agency to nab the culprit.