NCST lens on gang rape and violence in Odisha
Seeks report from DGP and Kalahandi SP; its member visits Sambalpur for tribal man’s death
BHUBANESWAR/BHAWANIPATNA: Taking suo motu cognizance of the alleged gang rape of two minor girls on April 16 in Kalahandi district, the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) on Tuesday sought reports on the case from Director General of Police Sunil Bansal and Kalahandi SP Abhilash G.
The girls were allegedly gang raped by unidentified miscreants in Bengaon within Bijepur police limits but the incident came to the fore when their parents filed a police complaint on April 20. The NCST sought to know if all the accused had been arrested and chargesheet filed under relevant sections of IPC and SC/ST (PoA) Act, 1989. It also inquired if monetary relief and rehabilitation packages have been provided to the girls’ families. The Commission asked the officials to submit the reports within three days of receipt of its notice.
Member of the NCST Ananta Nayak said if the police officers fail to reply within the stipulated time, the commission will summon them to appear before it. A group of five youths had forcibly waylaid three minor girls when they were returning home after watching Tarini Yatra in their locality. While one of them managed to escape, two were taken to an isolated place and gang raped. Police nabbed four persons for their alleged involvement in the case. However, the cops are mum on the whereabouts of the fifth accused.
Meanwhile, the NCST member reached Sambalpur to meet the kin of the tribal man who was reportedly murdered after clashes during the Hanuman Jayanti celebration in the city. Chandrakant Mirdha, 30, was killed by miscreants in Sambalpur on April 14 when the Hanuman Jayanti procession was underway in the city. His body was found in a pool of blood near Batamangala temple in the Dalaipara area. Police arrested six persons in connection with the murder but claimed that Chandrakant’s death was not linked to the Hanuman Jayanti violence.
On the day, Nayak went to Chandrakant’s native village Jharmunda within Burla police limits but could not meet his family members as the house was locked. He, however, met Biswanath Sikka alias Kalia of Bhawanipali in Jujumura who sustained injuries in the incident. Biswanath was accompanying Chandrakant when they were attacked by the miscreants.
Addressing mediapersons, Nayak said he could not meet the family members of Chandrakant as they had gone to immerse his ashes in the river Ganga. “A report has been sought from the district administration. The district officials’ account will be taken into consideration before submitting the final report to the President,” he added.