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Pradeep Singh

Bhubaneswar: Hours after some serious allegations were levelled against the chief of Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Odisha Crime Branch investigating the abduction and murder of five-year-old girl, Pari, the Odisha unit of BJP has claimed that attempts are on to save Minister Arun Sahoo.

State BJP general secretary Golak Mohapatra criticised the State government citing discrepancies between the revelations by probe authority and the government. Mohapatra said that ruling-BJD Minister Dibya Shankar Mishra had earlier informed the Odisha Assembly that the 5-year-old girl was not raped, but the SIT in its affidavit submitted before the Orissa High Court has reportedly mentioned that the minor girl was raped before being murdered.

"Now, reports are there that a youth was offered money to admit to the crime and take the blame on himself. All these are part of the plan to save Minister Sahoo who has been accused of shielding the prime accused in the case, Babuli Nayak, by the deceased girl's family members," Mohapatra said.

Demanding justice for the little girl, the BJP will take out padayatra between December 20 and 24, he added.

BJP MP Suresh Pujari also joined a party dharna staged in front of Nayagarh Collectorate. Pujari said that the SIT Chief Arun Bothra does not have police powers. The parliamentarian also added that efforts are being made to find a scapegoat and mislead the probe into the case to give the real culprit(s) a chance to escape.

Odisha Congress too organised a samavesh near Nayagarh railway station and demanded justice to the five-year-old girl and resignation of minister Arun Sahoo. Party working president Pradip Majhi was also present during the meeting.

Earlier today, one Saroj Sethi of Jadupur village in Nayagarh district accused the SIT chief Arun Bothra of offering him Rs 5 lakh to admit to the crime and take the blame on himself. Sethi said he is not guilty and is being falsely implicated in the case.

The SIT in its preliminary inquiry report submitted before the Orissa High Court on Wednesday reportedly stated that Pari was sexually assaulted before being murdered. It further said that the prime motive of the murder was rape and that it was confirmed from the semen stains found on the clothes of the deceased girl.

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