Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: The Opposition parties on Thursday turned the heat on the Odisha government by cornering it on the alleged abduction and murder of five-year-old girl ‘Pari’ from Nayagarh district whose parents attempted suicide in front of the State Assembly on Tuesday.

The Opposition legislators from both BJP and Congress targeted the Odisha government for the lapses in the probe and demanded the expulsion of Minister Arun Sahoo whose involvement has been alleged in shielding the perpetrators of the gruesome murder.

Waving placards that displayed the photographs of Minister Arun Sahoo with Babuli Nayak, the prime suspect in the murder, the Opposition members created ruckus in the House. Following the pandemonium, the Speaker initially adjourned the proceedings of the House for 20 minutes, and later extended it till 3 PM.

The Congress and BJP members demanded the resignation of the Sahoo from the State cabinet and his expulsion for his alleged nexus with the prime suspect in the murder of the child. An audio-clip containing the purported conversation between the Minister and a Sarpanch, in the aftermath of the suicide attempt by Pari’s parents, has also gone viral on social media.

The Opposition parties have threatened not to allow the proceedings of the House to resume until Minister Arun Sahoo is expelled.

Congress MLA Tara Prasad Bahinipati slammed the Minister of State (Home) Dibya Shankar Mishra over the statement the latter made over the murder case in the House on Wednesday.

“It is really unfortunate the way the minister made his statement in the House. We are not satisfied with the Minister’s reply as he remained mum over Minister Arun Sahoo’s alleged involvement. We are demanding the resignation of Sahoo over the matter,” said Bahinipati.

Bahinipati further said, “We are demanding a probe by a High Court monitored Special Investigation Team (SIT). We are demanding the resignation of Arun Sahoo as he might try to influence the probe as he is presently a minister in the Naveen Patnaik cabinet.”

Opposition Chief Whip, Mohan Majhi said the Minister of State (Home) announced the transfer of the murder case to the Crime Branch on the floor of the House. “We are not satisfied with the decision as State a government had handed over several cases to Crime Branch in the past, but the reports were never placed before the Assembly.” He said.

“When the parents of the girl clearly alleged the involvement of Minister Arun Sahoo, we want Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to expel him. We will not allow the House to function normally till Minister Arun Sahoo is expelled,” said Majhi.