Pipili Gang Rape & Murder: BJP demands Pradeep Maharathy’s dismissal; gives 24-hour ultimatum

While the BJP threatened the Odisha government to launch agitation if Pradeep Maharathy is not dismissed within 24-hours, Odisha Mahila Congress activists allegedly hurled eggs and tomatoes at the official residence of the minister

Bhubaneswar: Odisha unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today gave an ultimatum to the State government, saying that the party will hit the streets if minister Pradeep Maharathy is not dismissed within 24 hours for his ‘insensitive’ comment on the Pipili gang rape and murder incident.

Addressing a presser here at the party headquarters, BJP leader Aparajita Sarangi termed the comment of Maharathy on the incident as unfortunate and saddening.

“Maharathy has hurt the 4.5 crore people of Odisha with his irresponsible comment. It’s surprising and alarming that a minister of the Naveen Patnaik government, which is vouching for 33 per cent reservation of women in legislative assemblies and Parliament, made such an unacceptable comment,” said Aparajita.

Meanwhile, BJP Mahila Morcha president Prabhati Parida said that the party would carry out a candle march today evening across the State protesting Maharathy’s comment.

“The BJP will hit the streets if Maharathy doesn’t resign or he is not dismissed from his position within 24-hours. We also demand a CBI investigation into the gang rape and murder incident,” she said.

On the other hand, women activists of Odisha Congress today allegedly hurled eggs and tomatoes at the official residence of Maharathy protesting his comment.

“He (Maharathy) should be ashamed of his statement. CM Naveen is only shedding crocodile tears for women; he is feeding ‘gundas’ who are raping women in the State…. it’s a rapist BJD government,” alleged a Mahila Congress activist, Sriya Sambedana.

A day after two accused in the 2011 Pipili gang rape and murder case were acquitted due to lack of evidence, minister Maharathy on December 25 hailed the court’s verdict and said that truth finally prevailed. His statement drew sharp criticisms with the Opposition accusing the ruling-BJD of being responsible for the alleged miserable and deteriorating condition of women and girl children in the State.

File Pic: Odisha Minister Pradeep Maharathy

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

Following widespread resentment over his statements, Pradeep Maharathy later in the day expressed regret for his statements hailing the acquittal of the accused in Pipili gang rape and murder case.