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Opposition forces Govt to order probe into tribal girl rape issue

 The State government today ordered a Crime Branch probe into the alleged gangrape of a tribal girl in Ganjam district, a demand voiced by the Opposition in the Assembly which had to be adjourned several times due to frequent disruptions on the issue.

"The case has been entrusted to the State Crime Branch for investigation. A senior officer will supervise the case," Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said in a statement in the Assembly.

The House witnessed at least six adjournments as the Opposition members sought a statement from Patnaik, who also holds Home portfolio.

Patnaik said that a case was registered with the Jarada police station under various sections of the IPC against five accused on the complaint of a minor girl of village Dhanabada of Ganjam district.

The investigation was entrusted to SDPO, Chikiti, under the direct supervision of the SP, Berhampur, Patnaik said.

An FIR was lodged on March 28 alleging that on March 9 midnight while she was sleeping with her mother, the accused forcibly took her to the outskirts of the village and raped her, Patnaik told the Assembly.

Quoting the FIR, the chief minister said that her tormentors had threatened her not to disclose the matter to her parents and left her in the nearby jungle. The girl reached home and narrated her ordeal to her parents.

Patnaik said that the statement of the girl was recorded under section 164 of CrPC before a judicial magistrate.

The main accused Khambal Pradhan was  apprehended today, the chief minister said assuring the House that the government would ensure prompt and stringent action in accordance with the law.

The issue was raised during Zero Hour by the Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra (Congress), who stated that he had earlier raised the issue in the House. But, the chief minister had not replied.

Mishra alleged that the girl had been raped because her father had worked for the Congress in the panchayat polls.

Mishra found support from BJP legislature party leader KV Singhdeo, who demanded a statement from Patnaik.

Subsequently, members of Congress and BJP rushed to the well of the House and shouted anti-government slogans.

The Speaker adjourned the House at least six times till 5.08 PM. The impasse ended with the Speaker asking the government to place a statement on the matter in the House today.

The girl had complained to the SP on Tuesday that she had been kidnapped by five persons on March 9 last and raped for 10 days before they left her in a forest.

The Women and Child Development Minister Usha Devi today claimed that the minor girl was married and not gangraped as alleged by the opposition Congress and BJP.

"She is 17-year-old and had eloped with a man. She was married to a man at a Shiv temple," the minister alleged adding that the man fled leaving her alone in the forest.

The minister said: "The girl in her statement before the district judge has revealed all this. Whatever allegations are made by Opposition members are not based on facts."


Précis 2017
From asking his party men to ‘live a simple life and serve the people’ to taunting the BJP for its ‘crocodile tears’, Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik has not only become politically invincible, he seems to be so in the coming years too.


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