Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: The delay in the filing of complaint in connection with the alleged gang rape of a minor in Bhubaneswar could have resulted in the destruction of crucial evidence, Chairman of the Odisha State Commission For Protection of Child Rights( OSCPCR) Sandhyabati Pradhan said on Monday.

Pradhan made the observation while responding to a question over the delay in the arrest of the police personnel who have been named in the FIR filed by the survivor’s mother with the Infocity police. Even though the investigation was later transferred to the crime branch which made four arrests on Monday, the conspicuous silence of the agency even over the identity and whereabouts of the accused policemen has surprised many.

“The complainant had lodged the case in connection with the incident much later. The belated reporting of the incident creates a situation where possibility of destruction of crucial evidence looms large. This results in delay in the investigation by any investigating agency,” she said, apparently advancing a palpable reason for the inability of the Crime Branch in bringing the accused policemen to book.

She was quick to add, “The Crime Branch is investigating the case and if the agency finds any evidence against them (police personnel), I am sure steps will be taken for their arrest.”

The victim’s mother had alleged that one police personnel and two of his associates were involved in the gang rape of her daughter.

“The complaint was lodged four months after the said incident took place. Naturally it will take time for the investigating agency to collect necessary evidence against the accused. However, those involved in the incident will not be spared,” Pradhan added.

Earlier on Sunday mid-night, the crime branch sleuths rounded up four persons, including two employees of OTV and an equal number of security guards after picking them up from their residences from as far as Gop near Konark in connection with the case. They are likely to be produced in a special court.