Pipili gang rape & murder: Crime Branch to move HC challenging acquittal of accused

Cuttack: After questions were raised over investigation of the Pipili gang rape and murder case in which the two accused were acquitted by the court, the Odisha Crime Branch today informed that the lower court’s verdict will soon be challenged in the Orissa High Court. Crime Branch ADG Santosh Upadhyay stated that as per protocol, all the relevant documents will be sent to the Director of Public Prosecution for necessary action in this regard.

Upadhyay further informed that based on the written arguments and opinion of additional public prosecutor that there are strong and valid reasons for an appeal against the lower court’s judgement.

Senior Crime Branch officials stated that the chargesheet was filed against prime accused Prashant Pradhan for murder while a case for threatening the victim was registered against his brother Sukant.

The entire matter got spilt up – one for murder case (Bhubaneswar court) and another under ST and SC Atrocity Act for which cases were registered against four government officials and the matter is still pending before the Puri court, informed sources.

“The investigation was conducted properly and the additional public prosecutor had presented all the points and written arguments. The Bhubaneswar court in its judgement has also mentioned that the murder has been established but the involvement of the accused cannot be proved,” said Upadhyay.

It is pertinent to mention that the victim, a 19 year-old girl from Arjungoda of Pipili in Puri district was allegedly gang raped on November 28, 2011. After remaining in comatose state for over six months, the girl died at SCB hospital in Cuttack in June 2012.

On December 24, 2018, the Bhubaneswar Additional District Judge acquitted prime accused Prashant Pradhan and his brother Sukant due to lack of evidence against them.