Odisha tribal rape victim’s family holds up traffic with her body, refuses autopsy

The mother of the girl, who committed suicide, alleged that her daughter was forced by the police to say that she was not raped.

india Updated: Jan 23, 2018 14:43 IST
Debabrata Mohanty
Debabrata Mohanty
Hindustan Times, Bhubaneswar
Kunduli rape victim,Kunduli rape victim commits suicide,Odisha rape and suicide
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)

The family of the minor tribal girl from Odisha’s Koraput, who was allegedly gang-raped by paramilitary soldiers last year, staged a protest with her body and refused to give their consent for an autopsy on Tuesday, a day after she hanged herself to death.

The family members of the Class 9 student took her body from the community health centre at Kunduli even as it started to decompose due to the lack of an ice box.

Local residents in Koraput held up traffic on National Highway 26 demanding justice as opposition parties united in condemning the Naveen Patnaik-led government’s insensitivity over the issue.

The girl’s mother alleged that her daughter was forced by the police to say that she was not raped.

“The administration had hatched a conspiracy to kill my daughter in order to save CoBRA. She faced tremendous torture and mental harassment. If my daughter was not raped, why was she being treated for long?” she asked.

She was referring to the Commando Battalion for Resolute Action, the Central Reserve Police Force’s elite jungle warfare and counter-Maoist squad.

Her family members were joined by former Congress legislator Pradeep in the march till Kunduli market with her body. Majhi said the girl was under tremendous pressure and doubtful about getting justice.

“The government forced her to take such step,” he alleged.

The incident triggered public outrage from the day the girl lodged her complaint. She accused “four men in uniform” of raping her at Kunduli on October 10 last year when she was returning to her home at Musaguda village in the Maoist-hit Koraput district.

A month after the incident the state police claimed the girl was not raped and that the medical tests done by doctors at different hospitals disproved her allegations.

The girl later alleged that senior police officers, including Odisha director general of police RP Sharma, tried to bribe her and “insisted that she should not name CoBRA forces” in her complaint, a charge which was denied by the top officer.

She also said during a public hearing by social activists in Bhubaneswar last month that she was being forced to name local people.

Chief minister ordered a judicial probe into the incident, which is still on, and a separate investigation by CID.

First Published: Jan 23, 2018 14:38 IST