Cong demands spl legislation for women’s safety in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Congress on Thursday alleged that Odisha had earned the dubious distinction of reporting the highest number of crimes against women and demanded a special legislation for ensuring their safety and security.

Noting that 1,458 rape cases were registered in 2012, PCC president Niranjan Patnaik said, "This indicates that an average of 4 rape cases took place every day in Odisha.

"This has dramatically increased since Naveen Patnaik government took over in 2000. In 2000, the number of rape cases was 753," he told women workers who observed Women Protection Day, coinciding with the birth anniversary of Kasturba Gandhi.

"Our heads bow in shame and we are aghast to see the apathy of the Naveen Patnaik government towards this (rape cases) sordid state of affairs," Patnaik said, demanding a special legislation for ensuring safety and security of women.

The party was also critical of rising dowry cases and cited the example of former law minister and senior BJD leader Raghunath Mohanty.

Odisha Mahila Congress President Bijay Laxmi Sahoo said, "It is unfortunate that ex-law minister Raghunath Mohanty has come under the scanner of law for being a law breaker. This case is symptomatic of a deeper malaise that afflicts the ruling party – an utter disrespect for women."

The Mahila Congress held demonstrations in all district headquarters against atrocities on women.