Odisha gangrape victim’s family not happy with minister’s dismissal, seeks CBI probe

Bhubaneswar: The family of a gangrape victim in Odisha on Sunday said the resignation of minister Pradeep Maharathy does not ensure justice for their daughter as they demanded a CBI probe into the incident.

Odisha Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy on Sunday resigned from the cabinet for his controversial remarks hailing acquittal of gangrape accused by a local court.

Maharathy had resigned in 2012 as well for allegedly shielding the accused. Later, he became a minister again in 2014.

“We want justice for my daughter, not minister’s resignation. What we will get with his resignation. We want a proper investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI),” said the mother of the victim.

‘If she was his (Maharathy’s) daughter, would the minister have said the same thing? Maharathy’s resignation will not deliver justice to my child. I demand a CBI inquiry and will be happy only if she gets justice,’ said the father of the Pipili gangrape victim.

Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who visited the house of the victim family, also demanded a CBI inquiry into the gangrape and murder of the girl.

“A teenage girl in Pipili in Puri district was gangraped in 2011 and the accused were acquitted by the court. But the statements of Ministers in BJD government have hurt the people of Odisha more than the court judgement,” said Pradhan.

He also alleged that the victim’s family members are being threatened by the ruling party goons.

Senior Congress leader and Opposition leader Narasingh Mishra said the case was not properly investigated by the police to ensure justice to the deceased.

“It’s good that the state government and Maharathy have succumbed to public pressure and finally resigned. The case was neither properly investigated nor was it pursued sincerely by the police,” said Mishra.

Earlier in the day, Maharathy representing Pipli assembly constituency resigned as Agriculture and Panchayati Raj Minister from the Naveen Patnaik cabinet over his controversial remarks on the acquittal of two accused in the gangrape and murder case.

A local court had acquitted two persons arrested in connection with the case in December last year.

A 19-year-old girl was found unconscious and semi-naked in a paddy field in Pipili on November 28, 2011. She succumbed after remaining in a coma in SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack on June 21, 2012.