Pipili gang rape & murder: Odisha minister hails acquittal of accused; CB mulls to move HC

Bhubaneswar: A day after two accused in the 2011 Pipili gang rape and murder case were acquitted due to lack of evidence, the additional public prosecutor for Crime Branch today informed that the lower court’s verdict will be challenged in the Orissa High Court. The Crime Branch counsel Kamdev Tripathy stated that there were ample evidences including a lot of circumstantial evidences and motive as well, for the conviction of the accused in the case.

Earlier yesterday, the Bhubaneswar Additional District Judge had acquitted prime accused Prashant Pradhan and his brother Sukant due to lack of evidence against them.

The family members of the victim expressed shock over the court’s verdict. They alleged that justice has not been meted out as they were expecting capital punishment for the accused for the heinous crime.

However, they are still hopeful to get justice from the God, said victim’s mother with tears rolling down her eyes. “We are praying for capital punishment for the accused,” said victim’s mother.

“We did not get justice. The court gave the verdict based on Crime Branch report. My daughter would have rested in peace had the culprits been punished,” said the victim’s father.

It is pertinent to mentioned that the 19-year-old girl was found unconscious and semi-naked in a paddy field on November 28, 2011. She succumbed on June 21, 2012 after remaining semi-comatose in SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack.

The current Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy, who had to quit from his minister post in 2012 based on allegations of shielding the accused, today rubbed salt on the wounds by hailing the court’s verdict. Moreover, he asserted that truth has finally prevailed and his sympathies are still with the victim.

“My sympathies are with the victim. I had then told that truth will prevail,” said Maharathy.

The statements of Maharathy drew sharp criticism with Mahila Congress leader Sumitra Jena saying “What is inside Maharathy’s head, we don’t know. Only the minister can explain what his definition of justice is.”

“Due to such attitude of the Odisha government, rape incidents in Odisha have been rising as evidences are being destroyed in the guise of crime branch inquiry,” said Odisha BJP leader Prabhati Parida.