Bhubaneswar: Putting week-long speculation on the mysterious death of television actor Ranjit Pattnaik to rest, Balasore police on Tuesday said the actor had committed suicide. They also arrested actress Pralipta Priyadarshini Samal or Jessy, Aged 26, on charges of abetment of suicide. Jessy was sent to judicial custody after her bail plea was rejected, police said.
Police said the 38-year-old actor, popularly known as Raja, jumped from a bridge in Balasore around 2am on January 7 after being severely humiliated by Jessy in the presence of his event manager Pralaya Jena and driver Dhaneswar Behera. The incident took place when they were returning in a vehicle from Balasore to Cuttack after attending a cultural show. Police, who were silent about the cause of his death for the past six days, arrested Jessy hours after she, Jena and Behera were brought to the State Forensic Sciences Laboratory (SFSL) here for a polygraph test.
Police, who were silent about the cause of his death for the past six days, arrested Jessy hours after she, Jena and Behera were brought to the State Forensic Sciences Laboratory (SFSL) here for a polygraph test. The test could not be conducted due to a glitch in the equipment.Police found that Jena and Behera did not have any role to play in the incident, and that only Jessy was responsible for his death. “We have evidence that Jessy abetted Ranjit’s suicide. While they were returning to Cuttack, she picked up a quarrel with Raja. She questioned his professional abilities and hurled abuses at him in the presence of Jena and Behera. Hurt and humiliated, he jumped off the bridge, said SP (Balasore) Niti Sekhar. He added that the couple’s relationship was strained and that Jessy had been misbehaving with Raja and humiliating him for the past few months, which finally drove him to end his life.
Police said on the fateful night, Raja and Jessy had an argument over the amount of cash rewards paid to them by the cultural organization. “Jessy was invited as a guest to the function whereas Raja was a visitor. The organizers paid Rs 27,000 to her and Rs 2,000 to Raja. Jessy boasted of her popularity and taunted him for getting a paltry amount,” said Sekhar.
Around 2am on January 7, Raja asked the driver to stop the vehicle on Chaparpada bridge over the Kansa Bansa river in Balasore, police said. “On the pretext of attending to nature’s call, he jumped off the bridge. Instead of taking him to a hospital in their SUV, the trio called an ambulance. They first took him to Bhadrak hospital and later shifted him to SCB Medical College and Hospital, Cuttack, where Raja succumbed to his injuries on February 7,” said Sekhar.
Jessy’s role came under scanner when she ignored summons by the Soro police to appear for interrogation after Ranjit’s family on February 10 alleged that he was murdered while returning from Balasore. “Jessy later turned up and denied having any role in his death. She claimed that Raja died after accidentally falling off the bridge. Earlier, she denied having an altercation with Raja, but later admitted to it,” police said.