Dilip Kumar

Cuttack: The Orissa High Court on Thursday directed the Superintendent of Police (SP), Nayagarh to provide security to family members of five-year-old girl ‘Pari’ who was allegedly abducted and murdered in July this year.

The Court also directed the State government to submit the updated status report of the investigation into the case. The court has scheduled the next hearing on the petition on December 16.

The High Court’s direction came in response to a PIL filed by the Bharatiya Bikash Parishad, which sought protection for Pari's family  on account of the alleged involvement of some politicians and local strongmen in the murder of the girl. The PIL also sought a CBI probe into the case and Rs 25 lakh compensation to the family of the minor girl.

The Odisha government and the Nayagarh district administration have been parties in the petition.

The alleged abduction and murder of the little girl has sparked massive public outrage across the state with the Opposition parties accusing Minister Arun Sahoo of shielding the accused.

The BJP has been demanding Sahoo’s expulsion from the Cabinet, alleging his role in the heinous crime. The saffron party alleged that the prime accused Babuli Nayak happens to be a close associate of the Minister. The BJP has also demanded a CBI probe into the case.

Matters took a dramatic turn after the parents of the deceased girl attempted to immolate themselves in front of the Odisha Assembly during the winter session to draw attention of the government. They had directly accused the Minister of protecting the main culprit.

On July 14, Pari was allegedly abducted when she was playing outside her residence at Jadupur village in Nayagarh. Though her parents ran from pillar to post seeking help of local police and administration to trace her, their desperate pleas were repeatedly ignored.

Exactly ten days later, the minor girls’ bones and body chopped in parts, stashed in a sack, were traced to the backyard of her house.