Key witnesses threaten to withdraw from Pipili probe panel

Cuttack: Several key witnesses in the sensational Pipili rape and murder case have threatened to withdraw their affidavits from the Judicial Commission probing the incident.

Justice P K Mohanty Commission of Enquiry on Friday received as many as three applications seeking to withdraw from the proceedings of the Commission.

Advocate Nisikant Mishra, a key witness who had filed the first affidavit before the Commission has sought to withdraw from the proceedings alleging that he is being falsely implicated in several police cases ever since he chose to become a witness in the proceedings of the Commission.

“Just 15 days into filing my affidavit before the Commission, my house located in Pipili was attacked on March 25. Three days after on March 28, the local police booked me in a false case of molestation. Similarly, when I raised the issue of hijacking the body of the victim by police for which the cremation of the body was delayed for over 60 hours, the police have also registered a false case against me,” Mishra alleged in his application.

Soon after Mishra’s application, another advocate Haladhar Sethy, who is representing SC and ST community before the Commission, also sought to withdraw his affidavit wanting to stay away from the proceedings of the Commission.

Sethy too made similar allegations saying that the police has also registered a case against him at Mancheswar police station in which he is being accused of threatening to the driver of the van which carried the body of the victim for cremation at Puri Swargadwar in June this year.

The advocate appearing for the father and uncle of the deceased threatened to withdraw from the Commission stating that until the false cases registered against advocate Nisikant Mishra are withdrawn, the relatives of the victim would stay away from the proceedings of the Commission.

Expressing deep concern over the developments and considering the sentiments of the aggrieved witnesses, the Commission came down heavily on the State government and asked the government advocate to file a report on this within two weeks.