Kunduli Rape & Suicide Case: Odisha Government Urges Orissa HC To Appoint Sitting Hudge

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Bhubaneswar(PTI): The state government has urged the Orissa High Court to engage a sitting judge to monitor the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe into the alleged gang-rape and suicide case of a minor girl in Kunduli area of Koraput district, a govt official said today.

The government made the request to the Chief Justice of Orissa High Court yesterday, immediately after Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik ordered a court-monitored SIT probe into the case, an official of the law department said.

The 14-year-old girl from Musaguda village in Koraput district was allegedly raped by four “men in uniform” while she was returning home from Kunduli market on October 10 last year. The girl committed suicide on January 22.

Sources in the home department said that the government is in search of an efficient IPS officer, with adequate experience in the CBI, to head the SIT probe.

Meanwhile, senior BJP leader and Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan today criticised the state government for setting up an SIT to probe the case.

The case should be handed over to the CBI as the victim had accused the DGP of Odisha Police of offering Rs 90,000 to her for changing her statement, Pradhan told reporters.

“The DGP of the state and senior officers of the crime branch are accused in the case. Under such circumstances, how can the Odisha Police undertake an impartial investigation,” he said.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had described the case as “an extremely tragic incident” yesterday and said that the law should be allowed to take its course.

“Justice should be meted out without fear and favour,” Patnaik had said while announcing the SIT probe.

The state had in the past ordered a Crime Branch investigation into the case and instituted another independent judicial inquiry with a sitting judge nominated by the High Court.

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