BJD MP slams Odisha police over minor gang rape victim’s suicide
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BJD MP slams Odisha police over minor gang rape victim’s suicide

india Updated: Jan 24, 2018 08:44 IST
Debabrata Mohanty
Debabrata Mohanty
Hindustan Times, Bhubaneswar
Odisha Rape,Odisha,BJD

Locals in Koraput hold up traffic on National Highway 26 demanding justice for the Kunduli gang rape victim, who hanged herself to death on Monday. (HT Photo)

Even as opposition BJP and Congress have called a dawn-to-dusk Odisha bandh on Wednesday over the suicide a minor tribal girl who was allegedly gangraped, a Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MP spoke out on Tuesday against the lack of sensitivity on part of the government and police.

The Congress, which has been leading the agitation in Koraput initially declared a state-wide bandh with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) immediately following suit.

While locals in Koraput, along with Congress leaders, blocked the National Highway till the afternoon, refusing to allow the girl’s body to be taken for a post-mortem, BJP workers got into a scuffle with the police in Bhubaneswar when they marched towards the CM’s residence demanding a CBI probe in the case. The girl was finally cremated on Tuesday evening after an autopsy.

BJD MP and editor Tathagata Satpathy meanwhile, in a signed editorial in his Odia daily Dharitri, accused the police of not undertaking a serious investigation in the case that resulted in the girl’s suicide. “Right from the officials at police station-level to the higher ups, all remained mute in a bid to cover up the incident,” he wrote.

Referring to the Metoo hashtag campaign in which women in Hollywood were speaking out against sexual exploitation at the workplace, Satpathy wrote that the minor exhibited tremendous spunk in reporting the case. “In such times, it’s a matter of shame for Odisha that a girl commits suicide over rape. The police officials and doctors, who played an active role to prove the girl’s version false must be busy celebrating their success. The collusion of the system to save the rapists is a matter of regret,” he wrote.

Satpathy called January 22 a ‘black day’ and said,“Each one of us who remained insensitive to the girl’s cries including local people and NGOs who did not stand by her are equally responsible. It’s a dark day in the history of Odisha.”

BJD’s Kendrapara MP Baijayant Panda had tweeted on Monday that the tribal survivor had repeatedly spoken out about pressures to recant.

“It is a sad day indeed. We need to improve the system to respond better,” wrote Panda, who postponed the inauguration of an auditorium in his constituency scheduled for Wednesday.

Chief minister Naveen Patnaik said, “I am very sad about the incident. I am considering what can be done for her.”

First Published: Jan 23, 2018 22:52 IST