Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Senior leaders of the Opposition BJP and the Congress came together on Monday to condemn the arrest of two security personnel and an equal number of OTV employees by the State Crime Branch in connection with the case of the alleged gang rape of a minor girl in Bhubaneswar.

Coming down heavily on the late-night action 'without any evidence', senior Congress leader Sura Routray said, "This is sheer injustice. Arresting OTV staff in the middle of the night is nothing but a publicity stunt. Why only OTV staff were arrested? Why is there no action against the police personnel accused in the case? It is clearly evident that the agency (CB) is being pressurised to take action against OTV. The channel has been repeatedly targeted and harassed for raising voices against the government."

"This case needs a proper investigation. Whosoever is found guilty - be it policemen or a politician - should be arrested and put behind the bars," reiterated Routray.

Senior lawyer and BJP leader Pitambara Acharya has termed the arrest of OTV employees as selective prosecution.

"When one's destruction is near, their brain stops working - this is what is happening with the Odisha government. Intentionally attacking the press freedom, which we term as malicious proceeding, is not a sign of a healthy democracy," Acharya said while speaking to OTV.

"This is a motivated prosecution. A complaint has been filed in March, and the case was registered in September. Their motive is not to extract the truth or initiate a criminal investigation, rather, what we have witnessed in the last few days points that they (government) now think they can go to any extent against the company by making police as the medium," alleged the senior lawyer.

Meanwhile, amid the ongoing prosecution in the minor girl rape case in Bhubaneswar, members of the BJP Mahila Morcha along with the Congress workers today staged a massive demonstration at the office of Odisha State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (OSCPCR) seeking a report on Pari murder case and details of investigation into cases concerning other minor girl children who have gone missing in Odisha.