Kunduli Gang Rape & Suicide: HC Asks Odisha Govt To Complete Probe In 4 Weeks

Bhubaneswar: In a significant development in the Kunduli gang rape and suicide incident in Koraput, Orissa High Court Friday directed the State government to complete the probe and submit its report within four weeks.

Hearing a petition filed by senior BJP leader Kharbela Swain, the top court of Odisha also suggested the State government to constitute a Special Investigation Team (SIT) consisting of Central and State probe agencies to investigate the case if the inquiry report is not satisfactory.

The court has fixed September 4 as the next date of hearing.

The former MP had on February 1, 2018 filed a PIL in the Orissa High Court seeking a CBI investigation and make Odisha Chief Secretary, Home Secretary, DGP, Koraput SP and Pottangi police station IIC parties in the case.

Notably, the the 14-year-old girl, on October 10, 2017, had alleged that four “persons in uniform” gang raped her. Following public outcry, the case was first investigated by the police and later handed over to the Crime Branch.

On November 6, 2017, Human Rights Protection Cell (HRPC) ADG, Mahendra Pratap made a shocking revelation that the victim was not raped. Amid all the hue and cry, the minor girl hanged herself to death at her house on January 22, 2018.

The victim’s brother then moved the Supreme Court demanding a CBI probe into the matter, which directed him to file a plea at the Orissa High Court.

Later, on February 7, 2018, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik ordered a judicial probe into the incident. Initially the Commission was asked to submit its report within three months. However, with its tenure expiring on March 25, 2018, the Home Department on March 26, 2018, extended the Commission’s tenure again by three months.