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Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: Amid the massive public outrage over the alleged lackadaisical investigation into the abduction and subsequent murder of 5-year-old girl ‘Pari’ in Nayagarh district, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday said that the State government is ready for a probe by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) into the sensational case.

Patnaik made the announcement during his address in the State Assembly through video-conferencing. However, the Opposition legislators, who are gunning for the head of Minister Arun Sahoo over the issue, were far from being satisfied with the CM’s assurance and alleged that it lacked any clarity. Ruckus continued in the House during Patnaik’s announcement.

"If SIT investigation is what is required, State government will take steps in this regard and do it immediately," said the CM’s written statement which was issued moments after media reports were agog with the CM’s announcement of an SIT probe into the murder case.

The Chief Minister further said, "My government is always committed for free and fair investigation and we always want justice to be done. I am deeply saddened by the incident. My government will always stand for Rule of Law. I would request all the members to cooperate and participate."

On the other hand, the BJP has asked the government to come clear on it stand over the SIT probe though a demand has been made for an investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

"In his announcement, the CM said  if a SIT investigation is  required the State government will take steps in this regard  immediately. The statement is a mere eye-wash given the fact that the BJP did not press for any SIT probe. We are demanding a CBI probe and the resignation of Minister Arun Sahoo," said BJP leader, Jayanarayan Mishra.

Meanwhile, a 7-member team from the Odisha Crime Branch, along with ADG (Law & Order) Yeshwant Jethwa, visited Jadupur village in Nayagarh, where the girl’s body was found in July this year, for conducting a spot inquiry before launching the investigation into the case.

While talking to reporters, Jethwa said that stern action will be taken against those who found guilty in the heinous crime.

The Odisha government on Wednesday had ordered for a Crime Branch probe into the murder of 5-year-old Pari who had reportedly gone missing while playing near her house at Jadupur village on July 14. Later, Pari’s skeletal remains were found near the backyard of her house almost 10 days of her disappearance under mysterious circumstances.

The issue sparked all out public outcry across the State after Pari’s parents attempted suicide in front of the State Assembly on Tuesday. Her parents have accused Minister Arun Sahoo’s complicity in the case and blamed him for shielding the prime suspect, Babuli Nayak.

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