BHUBANESWAR: Political parties, cutting across ideological differences, joined hands on Monday to demand a CBI probe into the Pipili gang-rape case even as a team from the National Commission for Scheduled Castes is likely to visit the State in the next two or three days for a first-hand inquiry into the incident.
The Opposition parties, which came together on the Pipili gangrape issue under the banner of Odisha Gana Samaj, rejected the judicial probe ordered into the incident by the State Government. “A letter will be written to retired justice P K Mohanty requesting him not to head the judicial commission announced to probe the incident,” BJP vice-president and spokesman Ashok Sahu said.
State BJP president Jual Oram and senior leader Bijoy Mohapatra joined the rally and addressed a public meeting later. An 18-member delegation, comprising representatives from all political parties, submitted a memorandum to Governor Murlidhar Chandrakant Bhandare at the Raj Bhavan demanding a CBI probe into the incident.
As all the culprits are known, the judicial probe will bring out nothing new, Sahu said. If politicians are involved, as alleged, they should also be arrested, he added. Sahu said three more all-party meetings will be held at Cuttack, Sambalpur and Berhampur on January 21, 23 and 27 respectively.
CPI State secretary Dibakar Nayak said the all-party committee has demanded the arrest of suspended inspector in-charge of the Pipili police station Amulya Kumar Champatiray, whose lapses led to the present plight of the victim. He said the committee demanded that the State Government should pay penalty of Rs 1 crore each to families of the present victim and the earlier victim, who had died.
Among others, former minister Jagannath Patnaik, former MP Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, All-India Mahila Congress secretary Ashima Mahanand (all Congress), Dushmanta Das (CPM), Rabi Behera (Samajwadi Party), Santosh Mitra (Forward Bloc), Mahendra Parida (CPI-ML) and Hemant Kumar (RJD) addressed the rally.
Meanwhile, Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Niranjan Patnaik and former MP Anant Prasad Sethi met the Chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes, P L Punia, in New Delhi and apprised him of the incident. Punia assured the Congress leaders that a team will be sent during the next two to three days to look into the case.
After the arrest of the two accused, the OPCC alleged that they were sheltered. How could the police, which failed to arrest them for so many days, had done so promptly now, OPCC general secretary Arjya Kumar Gyanendra asked.