Mrunal Manmay Dash

Bhubaneswar: Hours after the sensational revelation of the SIT chief on the murder of five-year-old girl from Nayagarh and how the main accused, Saroj Sethi, executed the barbaric act, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) slammed the probe panel head IPS Arun Bothra and alleged that he is trying to save the neck of Minister Arun Sahoo.

In a press conference here in Bhubaneswar, BJP leader Golak Mohapatra raised serious questions on the court monitored-SIT. He blamed Arun Bothra of shielding State Minister Arun Sahoo by arresting Saroj Sethi as a scapegoat.

"When Minister, Dibya Shankar Mishra had admitted in the Assembly that there was no evidence of the minor girl being raped, Arun Bothra's statements contradicting Mishra's admittance makes us doubt SIT's integrity," said Mohapatra.

"We do not know whom to believe now. The government and the SIT's statements do not match, making us believe that the government, police and now Arun Bothra, all are trying to shield Minister Arun Sahoo, who has been named many times by the family of the minor girl as a accomplice in the case," he said.

"There are a lot of discrepancies in the theory that Arun Bothra presented before the media today. If Saroj is the main accused, then did the Nayagarh police interrogate him in these five months? And if, as per Bothra's theory, the body was left under a bush near a water-body to decompose, then why not the police nor did the sniffer dogs get any clue about this," asked Mohapatra.

It is worth mentioning here that, the family of the accused, Saroj has vehemently refuted the allegations against their ward.

"When the bones were found 4 months back, police had investigated the matter. How can, Arun Bothra be so sure about my son when the police did not make him the accused," questioned Saroj's mother.

On the other hand, the father of the deceased too defended Saroj and said, "He is not that kind of a boy who would strangulate a little girl. He is being framed by the government because of the pressure to hand over the case to CBI," he said.

Similarly the mother of the deceased said, "If the body was left to rot in the open, then why did not it smell? I am sure, they have used some kind of chemical to decompose the body after taking out her organs to sell in the black market."

Not only BJP, but Congress too raised questions on the timing of the press conference by Bothra. "When the SIT report is in a closed envelop with the High Court, he should not have revealed his findings in the press," said Nishikant Mishra, Spokesperson of Congress.

"The timing of the press conference and all other aspects of the investigations indicates that it was meant only to misdirect the probe and public opinion," alleged Mishra.

Reiterating BJP's demand to hand over the investigation to a central agency, Mohapatra said, "All these farcical statements are only reinforcing our conviction that the girl was actually murdered for some other reason, probably for organ trade and Arun Bothra has been sent there to cover for Minister Arun Sahoo. So now it is time for CBI to take over the probe," Mohapatra added.

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)