Rayagada gang-rape victim shifted to Vizag

Rayagada/Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government on Monday decided to shift the Rayagada rape victim to Vishakhapatnam as her condition continued to deteriorate.

Rayagada Collector Sashibhushan Padhi said, "The 16-year-old gang-rape victim has been shifted to Seven Hills hospital in Vizag for better treatment and we have requested the state government to bear the victim’s medical expenses."

The victim, a resident of Anjipetta area in Rayagada town, had attempted self-immolation on January 3 after she was allegedly gang-raped by three youths the previous day.

“The girl has received 80 per cent burn injuries. We have treated her with the best facility available here,” said Rayagada hospital doctor Shiv Prasad Padhi.

The incident came to light when the victim regained sense on Sunday and narrated the shocking story.

According to her statement, she was returning home on the fateful evening on January 2 while three youths dragged her to a nearby lonely place and raped.

Meanwhile Rayagada police claimed to have arrested all the three accused in the case.

Voicing support for the victim, the Rayagada lawyers’ association staqged a  cease-work and decided not to defend the accused.

The tribal-dominated town woke up to the heinous crime on Monday after Congress staged a road blockade at Kapilas Road. The agitators sat on dharna early in the morning, disrupting vehicular movement on the road.

“The accused must be given exemplary punishment for the brutal crime. We demand the government must pay Rs 10 lakh to the family of the victim,” district Congress committee president Durga Prasad Panda said.

College students in large numbers took out a protest rally in the town against the crime and demanded death penalty for those guilty of rape. “We want them to be hanged for the crime they have done,” said Manasi Tripathy, a student.

Security has been stepped up in the area to avoid any untoward incident. Police officials however said the situation is under control.