Police probe in Odisha girl’s murder poor and flawed: Child rights body

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights said in the Action Taken Report submitted before it by the SP and district collector of Nayagarh they failed to provide information regarding suspects in the case.
The commission also recommended the state government to take strict measures, including disciplinary action against the investigating officers, for dereliction of their duty. (File Photo)
The commission also recommended the state government to take strict measures, including disciplinary action against the investigating officers, for dereliction of their duty. (File Photo)
Updated on Dec 20, 2020 12:03 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, Bhubaneswar | ByDebabrata Mohanty

Citing the “poor and flawed probe” by the police, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) on Saturday recommended that the Odisha government conduct an investigation by a central agency into the kidnap-and-murder case of a five-year-old girl in the state.

Raising doubts regarding the legitimacy of the probe by the Special Investigation Team, led by senior IPS officer Arun Bothra, the commission said the statements of the minor girl’s parents were not recorded by the Nayagarh police after recovery of her body, but the police conducted the polygraph test on the girl’s parents without probing the facts in the matter.

“When such serious discrepancies are present in the preliminary investigation then it becomes difficult to rely on the subsequent investigation that would be undertaken by the SIT as well. As the SIT is probing the minor girl murder case based on the preliminary investigation of the police authorities, the chances of probing the facts in this case and seeking justice is minimal,” the NCPCR said in a letter.

The child rights body said in the Action Taken Report submitted before it by the SP and district collector of Nayagarh they failed to provide information regarding suspects in the case. “They subsequently misled the commission during the hearing by informing that the suspected accused had surrendered before the court,” the letter said.

The commission also recommended the state government to take strict measures, including disciplinary action against the investigating officers, for dereliction of their duty and for conducting a “poor and flawed probe” which caused delays in tracing the girl before she was found dead.

Meanwhile, the SIT on Saturday picked up Saroj Sethy, a college student, and his mother and sister to interrogate them in connection with the abduction and murder case of the girl.

On Thursday, the youth had alleged that Bothra had offered him Rs 5 lakh to take blame for the girl’s murder before the SIT. However, the Odisha police had rubbished the allegations, saying the SIT is working diligently in the case.

“Such unfounded allegations are being used to cast aspersions on the investigation agency. It may end up demotivating officers who are sincerely working to unearth the truth. It is both unfortunate and unethical,” said Odisha police in a press release.

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Sunday, January 23, 2022