BHUBANESWAR: The Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) on Wednesday demanded immediate resignation of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for maintaining a stoic silence on the Pipili gang-rape case and a high-level probe by an independent agency to expose the truth.
“The unusual silence of the Chief Minister who also holds the Home Department speaks volumes of the attempt to suppress the incident,” senior Congress leader Narasingh Mishra said.
Alleging that the police were a silent spectator to the entire incident and no attempt was made to apprehend the culprits, Mishra said at no point of time the administration or the police came forward to provide protection to the girl. This has proved that the police and the ruling BJD are hand in glove in suppressing the incident.
The former minister said it is believed that the culprits had taken shelter in the house of a minister but the police are yet to take any action to apprehend them.
The Nimapara incident has also exposed the deteriorating law and order machinery in the State, Mishra said and alleged that an inspector has successfully hid himself from the police for the last six days. Hooligans entering the police station and setting free a police inspector caught by the Vigilance was unheard of in the State, he said.
Expressing concern over the rapidly deteriorating law and order situation, the former minister said cases of gang-rape and hooliganism have been reported from different parts of the State in the recent past in which the role of police and ruling party members has raised suspicion.
Allegations of involvement of BJD workers in cases of gang-rape have put the ruling party in a spot in the past also.
A cabinet minister Bijay Ranjan Singh Bariha had to lose his post following allegations that he was trying to cover up the Paikmal gang-rape case and protect the culprits. The incident took place in 2009.
Another senior minister also had to spend some anxious days after involvement of some ruling party workers was alleged in the Baliapal gang-rape case which took place in November.
In both the cases, police inaction sparked strong resentment from local people, he added.