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Sharmili Mallick

Kandhamal: Locals of Kotagarh, who had staged a road blockade demanding capital punishment for the accused allegedly involved in raping and murdering a minor girl at Kotagarh, finally called off their agitation after 30 hours following Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s assurance and ex-gratia for the victim’s kin.

Patnaik announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund (CMRF) for the family members of the minor girl. Condemning the inhumane act, the CM also assured the agitating people of taking stringent action against the accused.

Earlier on Saturday, the body of the minor school girl was recovered from a forest under Kotagarh police limits in the district.

Sources said the girl had gone to attend nature’s call after returning from school in the morning. However, as she did not return, her family members lodged a complaint at the local police station.

Later, police recovered the mutilated body of the minor girl from the nearby forest.

Though the exact reason behind the death was not clear, preliminary investigation revealed the minor girl was raped and subsequently murdered.

After the preliminary investigation, police arrested one Gagan Nayak (30) and sent him to MKCG Medical College and Hospital in Berhampur for medical examination after interrogating him.

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“The accused has been arrested. We have sent him to the MKCG Hospital in Berhampur for medical examination. The body of the minor girl has also been sent to Berhampur for post-mortem,” informed Baliguda SDPO, Nitin Kushalkar.

The locals had reportedly blocked the main road passing through the block disrupting vehicular movement between Kandhamal and Rayagada.

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