Dilip Kumar

Nayagarh: As if the sufferings following the kidnapping and brutal murder of their only daughter five months ago was not enough, now faced with impoverishment and hunger, the hapless parents of five-year-old Nayagarh girl ‘Pari’ are forced to sell their only source of sustenance, an autorickshaw.

The couple—Ashok Sahoo and Soudamini—from Jadupr village in Nayagarh district is languishing under abject poverty as their only source of income, an autorickshaw, has remained off the road for several days now. They said that they can’t even afford to repair the three-wheeler after miscreants broke it. Left with no options, they plan to sell off whatever has been left in the stationary junk.

“They damaged my auto which is my only source of income. I am unable to repair it as I have no money left with me. Earlier, I sold my cattle to run the household. Now, I am planning to sell my vehicle so with that money I can foot the expenses for some more days,” a hapless Ashok told OTV.

“My ‘Pari’ was like ‘Maa Laksmi’ for the family. Poverty entered the family ever since she was kidnapped and murdered,” said Ashok who now lives at his in-laws place, along with his wife, as the fear of an attack by the suspects continue to haunt the couple. “I am completely dependent on my in-laws for survival. God is my only saviour,” Sahu said while appealing to the government to provide some succour.

However, poverty and hunger has not shaken Ashok from demanding justice for his daughter.

“Killer ‘Babuli Nayak’ deserves nothing less than death. His protector (Minister) Arun Sahoo should be given exemplary punishment so that no one would dare misuse power and authority to unleash tyranny on the masses,” he added.

It is worth mentioning here that Pari’s parents had long identified Babuli Nayak, a local BJD strongman, as the person who is responsible for the disappearance and killing of Pari, while Arun Sahoo allegedly shielded Nayak from police action.

Ashok’s wife Soudamini said “we have become a burden on my father. We have been staying with him for the last few days. With no other option left, we want to sell our auto rickshaw.”

Ashok and Soudamini grabbed headlines after they attempted suicide in front of the Odisha Assembly to draw government attention over the alleged denial of justice to ‘Pari’.

The incident triggered furore across the state forcing the Government to constitute a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to investigate the case.

However, Pari’s parents have raised doubt over the outcome of SIT investigation as Minister Arun Sahoo, considered to be an influential figure in the power corridors, is allegedly involved in the heinous crime. They have reiterated their demand for CBI investigation into the case.