The death of the 15-year-old burn victim from Kendrapara has sparked off a Statewide outrage. While the State BJP has given a call for 12-hour hartal on Saturday from 6 am to 6 pm, the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) has announced jail bharo agitation on August 20 demanding the resignation of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Health Minister Damodar Rout.
“The Chief Minister must resign on moral grounds as his Government is responsible for the death of the girl. She died due to Government apathy,” OPCC president Jayadev Jena told mediapersons here. Jena demanded that the Health Minister should also tender his resignation immediately as he has failed to save the life of the girl.
Jena said the Government should have sent the girl to Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital much earlier instead of waiting for 12 days and alleged that there was an alarming spurt in crimes against women while law and order had collapsed.
He said the State unit of the Mahila Congress will hold demonstration near the Assembly building on August 20 demanding justice to the victim’s family and punishment to the perpetrators.
The BJP also hit out at the State Government and called a hartal on Saturday to protest the Government’s ‘apathy’ towards the girl.
“The BJD Government has failed miserably to provide safety and security to women. The Chief Minister should resign as he has no right to remain in office any longer,” State BJP president K V Singhdeo said. The party held a candle light rally here at Station Square in protest.
Stating that the girl could have been saved had the Government shifted her earlier to Safdarjung Hospital in New Delhi, Singhdeo asked why two more accused persons are not being arrested.
The Congress and the CPI held demonstrations blaming the State Government for the death of the girl. The minor seventh standard girl from Mahakalapada block of Kendrapara district was set ablaze by a youth and his friend on July 28.