Opposition demands CBI probe into Pipili caseThe criticism against the Naveen Patnaik Government continued to gain momentum on Tuesday with opposition Congress staging demonstrations in the city as well as at different places across the State demanding a CBI probe into the Pipili gang rape case.While the students' wing of the party staged a demonstration on Mahatma Gandhi Marg here and burnt effigies of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy, the local unit of the youth wing held a demonstration outside the office of the Additional District Magistrate demanding action against those involved in the case.The party leaders demanded that Mr. Maharathy, who allegedly provided shelter to the accused and put pressure on Pipili police not to register a case into the gang rape and physical assault on the Dalit girl, should step down to facilitate a proper probe into the case.Meanwhile, Mr. Maharathy denied having links with the accused persons. The judicial inquiry ordered into the case will bring out the truth.In another development, leaders of various opposition parties, social activists and representatives of different mass organisations, who have come under the banner of Odisha Gana Samaja, visited the victim's house in Arjungoda village in Pipili area.Alleging that the Biju Janata Dal Government was not keen to bring the truth to light, they said that the government should hand over the case to the CBI if it had the courage to bring the truth to light. The Crime Branch investigation and the judicial inquiry will not help punish the culprits, they stated.The Gana Samaja has announced to continue its movement till October 30 by organising demonstrations and dharnas across the State by involving the general public.Apart from the Left parties, the Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party have also joined hands under the Gana Samaja banner making it difficult for the BJD ahead of the forthcoming panchayat polls.The Gana Samaja has resolved to organise demonstrations in
on January 21, in Sambalpur on January 24 and in Berhampur on January 27 to put pressure on the State government to transfer the Pipili case to the CBI.It has also decided to appeal all political parties and civil society organisations to dharna and hunger strike across the State near statues of Mahatma Gandhi on January 30. Cuttack
Displaced visit Hirakud
BURLA: A newly married Alekh Sahu was forced to leave his village Khajurdihi and whipped by police when he resisted forcible eviction. That was 56 years back when Sahu, now 74, along with hundreds of other villagers was evicted from Khajurdihi to make way for the Hirakud dam.
On the occasion of 56th Foundation Day of the dam on Friday, Sahu and 20 others, now residing in Rengali block of Sambalpur district and Lakhanpur block of Jharsuguda district, visited the dam hoping to trace the place where their villages once stood. This was their first visit ever since they left their home.
Walking down memory lane, Parkhita Sahu (75) said they owned 121 acres of land then and once the land was gone they were reduced to paupers and now possess a mere five acres.
He now resides in Sukhadihi village in Lakhanpur block after Kutgad village was submerged.
The other evicted people Gurbari (76), her husband Sobharam Mirdha (81), village priest Ranjit Kalo (67), Lingaraj Pradhan (82), Duryodhan Ati (81), Bihari
Meher (75) now struggle to make ends meet in contrast to the affluent lifestyle they led nearly six decades back.
Five get 10-year RI for gang-rape
SAMBALPUR: Four years after an MCA student of Sambalpur University was gang-raped on February 23 and 24, 2008, the ADJ (Fast Track), Ashok Kumar Panda sentenced five persons to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment (RI) on Friday.
Although the police had filed three separate cases in the incident, hearing of two was taken up on Friday while the judgement in the third case reserved till Monday.
Disposing the first case, Panda awarded 10 years RI and a fine of Rs 5,000 to Kapilas Senapati, Md. Anwar, Sayed Munir and Abdul Arman for their involvement in gang-rape of the victim at
area of Sambalpur town on February 24. They have to undergo an additional three months imprisonment in case of default of payment of fine. Deer Park
In the second case, Panda convicted Sanjit Behera and sentenced him to 10 years RI and a fine of Rs 5000 besides another three years RI and
Rs 2,000 fine.
However, both the sentences will run concurrently and the accused has to undergo additional three months of imprisonment in default of payment of the fine. Besides Behera, a juvenile identified as Trinath Behera was also involved in the gang-rape of the victim at Ainthapali on February 23 evening. But he has already been awarded three years of sentence by the juvenile court.
No rehabilitation to ostracised widow, daughter
PADAMPUR: Police too seem to have failed to act against the villagers of Chantipali under Gaiselet police limits where a widow and her daughter were ostracised. The police have reportedly expressed helplessness to bail out the mother-daughter duo and have asked them to wait for normalcy before they can return home.
Sources said Chamra Behera of the village was found hanging from a tree on the outskirts of the village on December 27. Soon rumours spread that he was forced to take the extreme step due to his wife, Visaka (65) and daughter Nilendri (25).
Basing on the rumours the villagers locked the two women in the village club house while they were preparing to leave for the neighbouring Malmanda village to perform the last rites on January 9. They later beat them up and paraded. The keys of their house and mobile phone were snatched and the two asked to leave the village.
Left with no option, the mother and the daughter approached Gaiselet police for help but were told to come after five days as the situation in the village was tense. When their suffering grew more and the cold conditions intensified, they decided to meet Padampur Sub-Collector. But, unfortunately it being a Sunday the office was closed and they had to return to live in the open.
Though some villagers confided that some vested interests in the village were eying Behera’s property as Chamra’s lone son had left home long back and had no links with the family.
IIC of Gaiselet police station, Dilip Swain said the situation in the village was tense and he would intervene once normalcy was restored and settle the matter.
Family of Payal murder accused moves NHRC
The IT professional, Payal, was found murdered at her flat at JP Nagar in
on December 17, 2010. Her husband Anant was not in town at that time. Anant of Cuttack worked as a gym instructor in Bangalore . Within a week of the murder, police claimed to have cracked the case and arrested Anant's friend, James Ray. Bangalore
"We urged the commission to help us in vindicating that James is innocent. Though the
Bangalore police arrested him from in Odisha, they showed the place of arrest as Andhra Pradesh. We find everything fishy," James's mother Choudhury Snehalata Ray told the media. Cuttack
"I cannot imagine my husband killing anyone. He is completely innocent," his wife, Smrutirekha Ray, said. "The commission would look into the grievance," OHRC registrar C R Mohapatra said. The police contention was that James had killed Payal to take revenge on Mishra, as she had terminated James's service at a gymnasium that Anant owned in
Villagers protest police inaction in rape attempt
SAMBALPUR: Jujomora police of Sambalpur district came under scanner for not initiating action against the accused in an attempt to rape eight days ago near Dunguripada of Birsinghgarh under the police station limits. Senior police officer of the district went to the spot only after a group of villagers came to Sambalpur and filed a complaint with the district police on Tuesday.
As per the allegation of the victim, two youths of the village took her to a secluded place forcibly and tried to rape her. She was, however, rescued by a villager who rushed to the spot after hearing her screams. "She made a complaint with the Jujomora police the same day but no action was taken by police. So we have come to Sambalpur to bring the matter to the notice of senior police officers," said an activist Barun Dehury here on Tuesday.
Additional SP Dilip Kumar Deo went to the village to probe the issue after receiving the complaint. "Today they came and made an allegation. I will personally conduct a probe into the allegation," Deo said on Tuesday.
'Harassed' officer alleges cop inaction against hubby
Sasmita Lenka, an assistant conservator of forests in the city forest division, alleged that her husband, Debi Prasad Mohanty, a block development officer in Balasore district, was taking advantage of the situation to intimidate her frequently and was maligning her character by uploading misinformation about her on the internet.
Lenka, a resident of
's Unit IV area, had filed the first petition on December 15. "Despite my approaching the SCW on December 15 and filing an FIR at Mahila police station on December 20, no action was taken to redress my grievances," she said. Bhubaneswar
The petitioner said she had married Mohanty in a court in 2009 and as per Hindu rituals in 2011. However, the marriage was tumultuous within days of the formal procedure.
The government servant said that Mohanty and his associates had threatened to kill her if she didn't agree with his proposal of divorce in December 2011. She also accused Mohanty of dowry torture, cruelty, impersonation as IPS officer, cheating and mischief. "He posed as in IPS officerwhen we first met in Dehradun in 2008," she said.
Lenka said Mohanty was now posing an unmarried man and trying to marry another woman. "I am now in great agony and my life is endangered. I am a responsible government officer but am too disturbed at present to discharge my duties," she added.
Pleading for justice, Lenka requested the SCW to direct the authorities concerned to arrest the accused and take necessary action.
SCW chairperson Jyoti Panigrahi said the commission was acting on her complaint by following due procedure. "We got a second petition from Sasmita Lenka on Monday. The commission will seek an action taken report from the police and also summon her husband soon," she said. Police said they have launched a manhunt to arrest the accused and are investigating into the matter.
Criminal killed in police encounter
KENDRAPADA: Notorious criminal Abdul Rafiq Khan alias Raja (30) of Fakirabad village in Kendrapada town was on Saturday injured in an encounter with police in Laxminarayanpur village.
Khan is the prime suspect in several murder and dacoity cases, and is also reportedly involved in tender-fixing, police said. Recently, Khan along with Sk. Latif (25), another known criminal, pelted bombs at the house of a businessman at Oladhi and demanded Rs 3 lakh from him.
" Khan shot at the police when they tried to arrest him and the officers returned fire in retaliation police fired at him. He was admitted to the district government hospital with bullet wounds and later shifted to SCB Medical College and Hospital in
as his condition was not stable", said SP Narasingh Bhol. Police also arrested Latif, who was with Khan at the time of the incident. Cuttack
Khan is a member of the notorious Sk Hyder gang. Police had arrested Hyder in
. Maharastra, five years ago on the charges of killing Sk Chuuna in Nagpur . Hyder has been in jail ever since and in his absence, his son Sk Babu and Khan are running their syndicate in Kendrapada and nearby areas, sources said. Security has been tightened in Kendrapada town and its nearby areas after this incident, added the police officer. Bhubaneswar
According to official sources, Chief Secretary Bijay Kumar Patnaik on Tuesday has urged all the District Child Protection Committees to prepare a five-year Plan of Action relating to Integrated Child Protection Scheme in association with the UNICEF with the main thrust to eradicate the stigma of child labour. The DCPCs were also asked to specify the goals and sell out the strategy clearly by April next.
The DCPC have been asked to undertake fresh survey of child labourer to prepare a basic data district-wise to help chalk out strategy to move forward to achieve the proposed objective.
Meanwhile UNICEF has projected an estimated Rs 19.20-crore plan for Odisha for the year 2012 to take up schemes for the over all development of children.
Sharose Mawaji, Odisha chief of the UNICEF informed the Government on Tuesday at a meeting held under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary Patnaik to review the performance of the proagrammes jointly implemented during 2011. This year the focus of the UNICEF strategy would be child health, education, child protection, sanitation and awareness, said Mawaji.
Meanwhile, the Chief Secretary told the UNICEF authorities to continue convergence activities in all the sectors of child development to avoid duplication of schemes and to achieve higher rate of success.
Meanwhile, the State Government decided to include health, hygiene, sanitation as part of school curriculum and the Chief Secretary has asked the School and Mass Education Department and the Health Department to jointly prepare the syllabus so as to create awareness among children.
According to sources, during the meeting it was decided that during the 12th Plan period all the schools and Anganwadis would have toilets with running water coverage. Besides, the Chief Secretary has urged for nutritional increase in the food intake with ensuring proper communication relating to nutrition habits and the lack of vitamin-A. In order to achieve the objective, he urged the UNICEF authorities to involve the Gaon Kalayan Samitis and the Women Shelf Help Groups in the awareness programme.
During the meeting the Unicef Odisha Chief praised the Joint efforts with the State Government on launching the“Tikka Express” and said that the scheme was more effective Odisha than other States.