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Sharmili Mallick

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today demanded the removal of IPS officer Arun Bothra as the head of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) which is investigating the sensational abduction and murder case of a five-year-old Nayagarh girl whose skeletal remains were found days after kidnapping in July this year.

The BJP demand comes two days after one Saroj Sethi of Jadupur village in Nayagarh district accused Bothra of offering him Rs 5 lakh to own up the crime.

Addressing a presser in Bhubaneswar, State BJP spokesperson and general secretary Lekhashree Samantasinghar said if the allegations made by Saroj Sethi against Bothra were true, "it is very serious".

"As per the disclosures made by Sethi before the media, he is being intentionally framed in the abduction and murder of the baby girl and organ smuggling racket. If those are true, then Bothra should be immediately removed as the SIT chief," demanded Lekhashree.

Claiming that the State Government is trying to shield its Cabinet minister (Arun Sahoo) by handing over the probe to SIT, Lekhashree said," The government is using the investigation team through Bothra to destroy evidence so that Arun Sahoo and Babuli Nayak can come clean in the case. Innocent people are being framed and BJP condemns such act," said Lekhashree while lambasting the BJD-led Odisha government.

Earlier, the saffron party had raised questions over the legality of Bothra's appointment as the head of SIT. The BJP had pointed out that since Bothra was still holding the post of Managing Director of OSRTC and was not working in the Odisha Police thereby, he doesn’t even have the powers of police.

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