• otv
Dilip Kumar

Cuttack: The Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Odisha Crime Branch on Wednesday submitted an affidavit  before the Orissa High Court over the progress of the investigation in the dastardly murder of five-year-old- Nayagarh girl ‘Pari’.

The SIT submitted the status report to the Court in a sealed envelope. The Advocate General informed the court about the submission of the status report of the case. The Court has admitted it and posted the next hearing on the petition on December 24.

On the other hand, another petitioner, Padmalaya Mohapatra questioned the validity of the appointment of Arun Bothra as head of the investigating team. She argued that Bothra, who is currently working as the chairperson of Odisha State Road Transport Corporation (OSRTC), has no police powers. He should either be appointed as the investigating officer or be replaced, the petitioner argued. She argued that a police officer is empowered under section 36 of CrPC to investigate a criminal case. The court, however, heard both the sides and posted the matter for hearing on December 24.

It is expected that the court may take up the matter involving the validity of Bothra's appointment as SIT head for investigating the case for discussion during the next hearing.

The Bothra-led SIT started its investigation on December 2 by questioning key accused Babuli Nayak at his village in Jadupur in Nayagarh district. The SIT members had also held discussions with the district police who were investigating the case prior to that.

The abduction and subsequent murder of the little girl sparked State-wide outcry after the victim’s parents Soudamini and Ashok Sahoo attempted self immolation in front of the Assembly building during the winter session, recently.

They had alleged they were frustrated over police inaction in the investigation into the murder of their 5-year-old daughter. They have directly named Babuli Nayak as the prime accused who is being protected by Minister Arun Sahoo.

Pari was allegedly kidnapped while playing outside her residence in July this year. Ten days later, her skeletal remains were found dumped in the backyard of her house.

DNA tests on the bone samples had matched with the Sahu couple, proving that those were of Pari.

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