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Mrunal Manmay Dash

Bhubaneswar/Jajpur: At a time when Odisha politics is already boiling with the murder case of five-year-old Nayagarh girl, Pari, shocking story of another missing minor girl named 'Pihu' from Jajpur district grabbed headlines on Thursday.

As per reports, two-year-old Subhalaxmi Nayak, aka Pihu from Madhusudanpur village under Binjharpur Police Station in Jajpur has been missing for the last four months. Despite registering an FIR in the police station, the cops are yet to locate the hapless girl.

However, the District Child Protection Officer visited the girl's village today and discussed the matter with her parents.

An anxious Laxman Nayak, Pihu's father said, "I do not want anything but get back my child. I request the state government to find my daughter as soon as possible."

Niranjan Kar, the District Child Protection Officer, who visited Pihu's parents after four months of her disappearance, said, "The police is doing its duty. I am here to provide Pihu's parents as much assistance as possible."

In another development concerning the murder case of Nayagarh girl Pari, the Bharatiya Janata Party's state in-charge of Odisha, Daggubati Pu\randeswari fueled the protest over Pari's murder by targeting Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. "How will this government protect its citizen when it could not provide justice to a little girl," Purandeswari said grilling Odisha government.

Incidentally, this is her first visit to Odisha after taking the charge of Odisha BJP unit. Purandeswari demanded resignation of Minister Arun Sahoo, who has been accused by Pari's family for his alleged links with Babuli Nayak.

"Minister Arun Sahoo should be made to resign, if not, then the CM will be held accountable for his misdeeds," Purandeswari told reporters today after holding talks with Pari's parents.

Citing fault in the SIT which has been set up to probe the case, Purandeswari said that, the panel does not have any locus standi, so the probe should be handed over to the CBI.

Even the Congress party has raised questions over the prosecuting powers of the SIT. Narasingha Mishra, who had earlier claimed that the SIT was constituted because of the pressure, put by his party, today said, "The head of the SIT Arun Bothra does not have police powers. We demand that an officer having powers under CrPC Section 36 should be present in the SIT & work impartially under the eye of Orissa High Court."

These two cases of crime against children which have sensationally put the focus back on the issue of missing kids from Odisha is just a tip of the iceberg. As far as the state of Odisha is concerned, the latest NCRB data portrayed a worrying figure. The statistics said Odisha recorded a whopping 4,315 missing children in 2019, making it 12 children missing every day from the State.

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)

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