Bhubaneswar, July 31: A senior official of the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs was found dead with four members of his family in Orissa early Friday. Police said the officer may have shot himself after shooting his family members.
Jagadananda 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 newsmen.
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.
Panda arrived in Bhubaneswar from New Delhi Monday and had purchased some 40 rounds of ammunition from a local armoury before proceeding to his home in a private car.
He had also tested his revolver by firing a few rounds in the air near his village, the official said citing a witness.
“Our priority now is to save the life of Panda’s son,” home secretary A.P. Padhi told reporters.