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HindustanTimes Sun,20 Apr 2014

Odisha assembly erupts over rape, dowry cases

PTI  Bhubaneswar, March 27, 2013
First Published: 20:02 IST(27/3/2013) | Last Updated: 20:09 IST(27/3/2013)

The Odisha Assembly was stalled on Wednesday over alleged involvement of an ex-minister and a senior IPS officer in separate dowry torture cases and frequent crimes against women with opposition Congress MLAs storming the Well, leading to repeated adjournments.

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Though question hour passed off peacefully, Congress members raised the issue as soon as Zero Hour began. They stormed into the Well and tried to climb the Speaker's podium demanding a statement from chief minister Naveen Patnaik.

The opposition MLAs who had walked out of the assembly on Tuesday alleging protection to senior BJD leader Raghunath Mohanty, took up the issue again on Wednesday with a senior UPS officer in the rank of an additional director general of police being named in another FIR.

Congress member SS Saluja demanded a statement from the chief minister on involvement of high profile persons in dowry torture cases.

Giving details about the FIR against ADG Gopabandhu Mallick, working in Odisha Human Rights Commission, Saluja said the IPS officer's sister-in-law had made charges against him. Gopabandhu was among the six accused persons in the FIR lodged by Santoshini Mallick, a mother of two daughters.

Saluja alleged that Santoshini was driven out by her in-laws over non payment of Rs. 80,000 as dowry.

On crime against women, Saluja claimed at least 11,000 women have been raped during the 13 year rule of Naveen Patnaik. "As many as 359 women have been gangraped in last five years," the Congress law maker alleged demanding reply from the home minister.

The opposition members rushed to the Well and shouted anti-government slogans and attempted to climb the Speaker's podium. Unable to run the house, Amat adjourned the house first till 12.45pm and later till 3pm. Normalcy returned in the house during post-lunch session.

This was the fifth consecutive day on Wednesday when the opposition members raised crime against women issue stalling the proceedings.

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