BHUBANESWAR: The OPCC on Friday upped the ante on the alleged Pipili gang-rape case by alleging that the accused are close to Agriculture Minister Pradip Kumar Maharathy. It announced that the party would launch an agitation demanding immediate arrest of the culprits. Maharathy represents Pipili in the Assembly.
Rejecting the judicial probe into the incident, announced by the State Government, OPCC president Niranjan Patnaik alleged that the law and order situation in the State has deteriorated to such an extent that life and property of citizens have become unsafe.
Criticising Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for making a trip to New Delhi in this situation, Niranjan demanded probe by an independent agency into other ‘rape’ cases took place during the last week.
The OPCC president said the police inaction in the rape and murder of a student of Bhadrak college has fuelled public resentment. Police are now trying to hush up the incident by describing it a case of suicide, he said. Thursday’s incident at Rajgangpur, in which a college girl was kidnapped and ‘raped’ has indicated to what extent the law and order situation has worsened, he said.
Niranjan alleged that the Pipili ‘gang-rape’ case is linked to an incident which took place on January 13, 2008, in the same area. A case was filed in the Pipili Police Station in which the gang-rape victim was a witness.
The OPCC president said attempts were made to strike a compromise with the gang-rape victim in the BJD office. Some also tried to take the signature of the victim’s father on a blank paper, he charged.
When the victim of the 2008 incident died it was said to be a suicide case. But now it is suspected to be a case of murder, Niranjan said and added Kabuli Behera, the uncle of the ‘gang-raped’ victim, who gave a statement in this regard, should be given police protection. Kabuli’s statement should also be recorded before a magistrate, he said.
Alleging that police are trying to suppress both the cases, Niranjan asked why have the accused in the previous case __ Bhagirathi __ and Prasanta Pradhan __ accused in this case and also a BJD functionary at the panchayat level __ not been arrested.
Niranjan alleged that as the case is from Pipili area and the accused is a BJD functionary, the needle of suspicion points at the minister from the constituency.