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Devbrat Patnaik

Cuttack: The Orissa High Court has directed the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Crime Branch, probing the abduction and murder of the 5-year-old girl in Nayagarh, to submit a detailed status report with regard to the investigation in the case.

The Court has so far been presented with three status reports - the first one dated December 15, 2020, the second on December 23 and the third dated January 11 (Monday), 2021.

The Orissa HC reviewed the preliminary status report of SIT findings on Tuesday, and is satisfied that good progress has been made in the investigation being carried by SIT headed by IGP, Crime Branch.

The Court has further asked the team to submit a comprehensive report in this connection. After SIT sought more time for submission of the report, the HC reportedly granted two months time and fixed the next date of hearing on March 25.

"Honourable Court has given two months time to SIT to submit the final report. The next date of hearing is scheduled for March 25. We had filed two miscellaneous petitions earlier - one seeking a polygraph test of Babuli Nayak and the other regarding degradation of semen stain in the deceased minor girl's dress. Hearing on these two cases is also fixed on the same day," said Gopal Prasad Jena, counsel for Bharatiya Bikash Parishad.

The HC, on March 25, is also scheduled to hear a PIL filed by the Parishad demanding a CBI probe into the abduction and murder of the minor girl.

Meanwhile, the main petitioner today filed another affidavit at the High Court questioning the SIT investigation. It reportedly mentions that the investigating team seized many things from the house of the accused during the course of the investigation; but why did it not show any interest to collect certificates to crosscheck the age of the accused, and why was the accused subjected to bone ossification test?

"The SIT tried to divert the course of the investigation and produced the arrested accused in a POCSO court, and even made an effort to show the juvenile as a major. As per provisions under various IPC Sections, the SIT should be punished or suspended for the faulty probe. The Court has listed all the petitions for hearing on March 25 after submission of the comprehensive status report," said petitioner Padmalaya Mohapatra.

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