Maharathi roadshow, 2 Pipili rape accused in jail

Puri: A court today remanded two of the accused in the alleged gangrape of a dalit girl at Pipili to judicial custody while Pradip Maharathy, who resigned as Agriculture minister on Thursday held a "Swabhiman Yatra" in the Pipili assembly constituency seeking people`s support.

Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC), Pipili, Meenakhi Priyadarshani rejected bail petitions of Premananda Nayak and Abua Pradhan and sent them to judicial custody in Nimapada sub-jail till January 27.

Both Nayak and Pradhan, named in the FIR filed by the victim`s father, were earlier arrested by crime branch of police and produced before the court today.

The prime accused in the incident Prasanta Pradhan alias Pasei was still in crime branch custody. The police have arrested all the four accused persons allegedly involved in the rape and attempt to murder of the 19-year-old dalit girl from Arjungada village under Pipili police station limit. Earlier another accused Purna Chandra Swain was sent to jail after his arrest.

The girl was allegedly raped and there was an attempt to eliminate her on November 28, 2011, police sources said.

Meanwhile, a day after resigning as Agriculture minister Pradip Maharathy took out a "Swabhiman Yatra" in his Pipili assembly constituency seeking support of the people.

Maharathy toured Delang and Pipili areas of his constituency in a motor-cycle procession. "Have patience, truth will prevail soon," the five-time MLA assured his supporters who were emotional over his resignation.

With Maharathy`s supporters agitated over his stepping down as Agriculture minister, DIG (central range) D S Kutte and Puri Superintendent of Police A N Sinha camped at Pipili along with 10 platoons (about 300 personnel) of force as preventive measures.

"There is no violence in the area. But the police is alert to any such incident," said Sinha adding armed forces were deployed at all sensitive areas of Pipili in view of the changed situation.