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Birendra Lakra. (File Pic – Photo by Robertus Pudyanto/Getty Images)

Indian hockey player and Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Birendra Lakra finds himself facing allegations as serious as conspiracy to murder, according to the family of a deceased man named Anand Kumar Toppo, who was a friend of Lakra’s and his flatmate and died under mysterious circumstances earlier this year.
Anand, who allegedly died by suicide in Bhubaneswar in February this year, had got married around two weeks before his death.
Anand’s father, Bandhan Toppo, has alleged in a press release that Lakra and his friend Manjeet Tete are involved in the death of his son, who he alleges was murdered and did not die by suicide.
The Inoficity police in Bhubaneswar has registered a case of unnatural death. No FIR has been filed yet on the family’s complaint.
“We have registered an unnatural death case and our investigation is still on in this case,” said Samita Mishra, Inspector In-charge, Infocity police station. “We have got the post mortem report and found nothing suspicious in it. We are waiting for the viscera report.”
Anand’s father, however, views the inquiry as improper and biased. He had sent an application to the DCP on May 11, requesting him to treat his application as an FIR and register a case of cognizable offence. He also met the DCP personally on May 18 and registered his grievances. On May 19, another application was submitted to the Commissioner of Police, Cuttack-Bhubaneswar.
The father of the deceased claims that Lakra and Manjeet were present at the house where Anand died on the day of the incident. He further alleges that the family was not getting help from the police and Lakra being a DSP rank officer in Odisha Police was trying to influence the investigation. Bandhan Toppo has also, according to some reports, asked for a CBI investigation to be conducted.
It is also alleged that Birendra did not like that Anand was getting close to Manjeet and had objected to it last November.
Lakra and Manjeet were childhood friends of Anand, and Lakra was very close to Anand’s family.
Lakra, who was the India captain in the recently concluded Asia Cup and led the team to a bronze medal finish could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.

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