Arrest of ex-minister sought in Odisha gang rape | india | Hindustan Times
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Arrest of ex-minister sought in Odisha gang rape

Chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) PL Punia on Monday sought the arrest of former Odisha agriculture minister Pradeep Maharathy in connection with the gang rape of a woman in the state.

india Updated: Mar 05, 2012 17:42 IST

Chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) PL Punia on Monday sought the arrest of former Odisha agriculture minister Pradeep Maharathy in connection with the gang rape of a woman in the state.

"Maharathy is party to the crime. He should be arrested and sent to jail," Punia told reporters in Bhubaneswar.

Earlier in the day, Punia visited the Sriram Chandra Bhanj Medical College and Hospital at Cuttack, 26 km from Bhubaneswar, saw the victim and enquired about her condition from the doctors.

He said the main accused in the case was having a close relationship with the former minister. Punia added that criminal cases should also be registered against the policemen and doctors who neglected the girl.

The 19-year-old was allegedly gang raped Nov 28 by some people near her village Arjunagoda, barely 10 km from Bhubaneswar.

Her family alleges that the rapists were the same people who had assaulted her in 2008 and against whom she had put up a determined fight in court in a molestation case.

The shocking incident came to light recently when the girl was denied proper treatment at a hospital and some journalists reported about her.

The incident has created a political storm, prompting Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy to resign Jan 19 on moral grounds after the opposition and the girl's family alleged that he protected her attackers.

The incident is being investigated by the crime branch of the state police and a one-man judicial commission headed by a retired judge of the Orissa high court.

The crime branch has already arrested four people and conducted lie-detector polygraph tests on them. The condition of the woman who slipped into comma after the alleged gang rape continued to be critical.