CM seeks one more day to decide fate of Maharathi

Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today said he would take at least one more day to take a "decision on the fate" of Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathi, accused of "harbouring" the culprits behind the alleged gang rape at Pipli in Puri district.

"I might come to a decision on the MLA of the constituency very shortly, perhaps in a day or so," Patnaik told reporters. Stating that he took stock of the situation at a meeting attended by the chief secretary, home secretary, DGP and others, Patnaik said, "I have been examining on the question being raised concerning the local MLA."

He had earlier said that "extremely strong" action would be taken against the persons found guilty in the gangrape case in Pipli. Meanwhile, Chief Secretary B K Patnaik said the state government was taking steps to bring experts from outside Odisha for the treatment of the Dalit rape victim who had been undergoing treatment at the ICU of the SCB Medical College Hospital in Cuttack.

The government decided to bring experts from outside after the victim`s parents refused to shift her to AIIMS, Delhi, he said. As the Odisha High Court had categorically observed that the victim could not be shifted from SCB Medical College Hospital without permission of her parents, the state government had no option than bringing specialist doctors from Delhi or somewhere else.