Puri: More than a hundred dalits, including women, under the aegis of Rashtriya Ambedkar Smurti Parishad stormed into Astarang police station premises on Wednesday and pelted stones demanding action against Nimapada SDPO and inspector in-charge (IIC) for allegedly shielding the culprit in the rape of a dalit girl.
The mob also indulged in a scuffle with the police personnel who resisted their entry into the police station.
Before barging into the police station, the dalits took out a rally and staged a protest in front of the police station alleging failure on the part of police in nabbing the culprit, who allegedly raped a 6-year-old minor girl of Patalada village while she was on her way to the nearby market to purchase grocery on April 5.
The agitators alleged that though father of the rape victim’s father lodged a complaint at Astarang police station against Manoj Mallick of the same village on April 6 and his statement was recorded before the Magistrate under Sec 160 of IPC, no action has been taken against the culprit.
Litu Das, Students’ President, Rashtriya Ambedkar Smruti Parishad, said, “The district administration is protecting the accused despite the torture of dalits in Puri under the pressure from politicians. Today, we are demanding the arrest of the accused as well as IIC and SDPO under the SC/ST Act for protecting the culprit by delaying medical examination of the victim. Besides, we are asking for Rs 20 lakh compensation for the family of the victim.”
Expressing similar views, Bijay Das, secretary, Rashtriya Ambedkar Smruti Parishad, said, “Some miscreants of the local chairman threw stones when we staged a protest. If the accused is not arrested immediately, we will intensity our agitation in the coming days.”
Khetramani Mallick, an agitator, said, “We will continue our agitation until the police arrest the accused and the family of the victim is compensated.”
The agitators also submitted a memorandum addressed to the DGP to Additional Tehsildar in the matter.
Meanwhile, Arun Kumar Jena, SDPO, Nimapada, refuted the allegation of police inaction and said steps will be taken to nab the accused immediately.
Jena stated, “The case was registered on time and police have started investigation after forming teams to nab the accused. We have tried our best to arrest the culprit but have not succeeded so far. The search is on and he will be arrested soon.”
He added, “Action as per law will be taken against those involved in pelting stones at the police station.”