Five bodies found on railway tracks, police suspect mass suicide

Mutilated bodies of music teacher Dharanidhar Panda, his wife Sangeeta Panda and their three daughters, in the age group of 13-20, were spotted by driver of a train at Sarala junction near Sambalpur town.

Inspector of Sambalpur Government Railway Police G Dungdung said preliminary investigation indicates it’s a case of mass suicide. “We recovered five bodies of four female and one male. The bodies have been sent for post-mortem,” he said.

It was, however, not immediately known whether the family was under any kind of stress to take the extreme step.

Panda worked as a music teacher in a local school. The school was closed for the day following his death as a mark of respect. Colleagues and students remembered Panda as a kind human being and sincere. “He had come to school yesterday (Tuesday) and left in the afternoon. There was no trace of anxiety or depression on his face,” said a colleague.

Expressing shock over the incident, Sambalpur MLA Raseswari Panigrahi demanded a proper probe into the incident to unearth the truth.

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