State

Odisha Congress to hold demo in front of Raj Bhavan demanding arrest of Kunduli gangrape culprits

Bhubaneswar, Oct 24: Odisha Congress on Monday alleged that the State government was trying to shield the accused in recent gang rape of a minor girl in Koraput district and the survivor was being pressurised to retract her statement.

"Though a fortnight has elapsed since the incident took place, police have failed to nab the accused as the BJD government is deliberately trying to shield the culprits," Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) President Prasad Harichandan told reporters here.

Claiming that the girl, who was allegedly raped by four persons near Kunduli on October 14, was put under surveillance at the hospital in Koraput, Harichandan alleged that she was being mentally tortured and made to stay in the hospital though she was now fit to be discharged.

He also alleged that in the name of counselling, women police personnel were constantly trying to put pressure on the girl at the hospital asking her to change her statement in a bid to allow the culprits to go scot-free.

Hitting out at Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik over the incident, Harichandan sought to know as to why Patnaik was silent on the issue despite being in charge of Home department.

The Congress leader claimed though an amount of Rs 8.25 crore should have been paid as compensation to the girl as per legal provisions, no payment had been made so far.

Claiming that at least five rape incidents were taking place in the state everyday, he alleged the police had failed to arrest the accused persons in most cases because of inaction on the part of the state government.

Stating that the Congress has been fighting for giving justice to the minor rape survivor, Harichandan said the party would organise a sit-in demonstration near Raj Bhavan here on November two demanding concrete steps to arrest the accused in the Kundulin gang rape case.

The party would intensify its agitation across the state if the government failed to take appropriate steps for the arrest of the accused persons, he said.

The minor girl, hailing from Musaguda village, was allegedly raped by at least four men, stated to be in combat uniform, on October 10. -PTI

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