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Devbrat Patnaik

Bhubaneswar: Amid a massive public outrage over the abduction and subsequent murder of five-year-old girl ‘Pari’ in Nayagarh, the Odisha unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has now demanded handing over the case to the Central Bureau Of Investigation (CBI) for a fair investigation.

Addressing a presser, BJP Mahila Morcha leader Smrutirekha Patnaik also demanded the immediate ouster of minister Arun Sahoo from the Naveen Cabinet for his alleged involvement in shielding the perpetrators of the crime. If the demands are not met, the party will launch protests across the state anytime in the next 48 hours, she has warned.

"We don't want a Crime Branch probe. If the state government wants a free and fair investigation, it should hand over the case probe to CBI. Our second demand is CM Naveen should expel minister Arun Sahoo from his post. Prime accused Babuli Nayak and his accomplices should be arrested. Action should also be taken against erring police officials," said the Mahila Morcha leader.

Congress MLA Santosh Singh Saluja also expressed similar concerns while addressing the House. "Minister Arun Sahoo had suppressed Chhabi's death at his government quarters, the bridge collapse incident involving Panda construction, and Crime Branch visit to his house in Artha Tatwa scam. We don't have faith in the Crime Branch; Sahoo should resign," Saluja said.

In his statement before the House, minister Arun Sahoo welcomed the Odisha government’s decision to hand over the probe of the case to CID, Crime Branch. “It is a sensitive issue and the matter should not be politicised, rather our focus should be on unravelling the truth. In my entire political career, I have never supported any kind of violence. I welcome the Crime Branch probe decision by the State government and hopeful that justice will be delivered. I want to see that the family of Pari gets justice. The persons involved in the crime should not be left free.”

Earlier in the day, a public interest litigation (PIL) has been filed in the Orissa High Court seeking CBI probe into the case. Social organisation, Bharatiya Bikash Parishad, which filed the PIL, has also sought Rs 25 lakh compensation for the kin of the deceased minor girl. The Odisha government and the Nayagarh district administration have been made parties in the petition.

On July 14, 5-year-old Pari was reportedly abducted when she was playing outside her house in Jadupur village of Nayagarh district. Exactly ten days later, the minor girl’s skeletal remains and body chopped in parts, were found dumped in the backyard of the house.

READ | Pari Murder Case: Kingpin Involved In Kidnapping Children For Organ Trade, Alleges Victim’s Father

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