Reported by Ranjan Rath
Rayagada, Dec 23:
Recording of statement of witnesses in the shocking Anjiapeta gang rape case in Odisha’s Rayagada district is in the last leg.
As informed by the public prosecutor and lawyers of the defendants, out of a total of 40 witnesses named in the charge-sheet, the court has recorded the statements of 17 witnesses.
The court which is scheduled to announce its verdict in January, will cross-examine Sujata Khamar, the investigating officer who had investigated the case, tomorrow.
It may be noted that the 16- year-old orphan girl D Santoshi was allegedly gang raped by four locals —Bharat Khasla, Pradeep Batra, Mallick Khasla and a minor Muna Chhartia— while she was on the way to her home from a photocopying shop in Anjiapeta of Rayagada town, where she was working, in the late evening on January 2 last year.
She was spotted by some women who brought her to the village.
However, unable to cope up with the shame, she attempted self immolation on the next day.
She was rushed to the district headquarters hospital and later shifted to Vishakhapatnam on January 7 where she succumbed to her injuries on January 15.
Police later filed chargesheet against the four accused basing on the dying declaration of Santoshi and arrested the four accused.
While Bharat, Pradeep and Mallick have been lodged in Rayagada jail, the minor has been sent to Brahmapur juvenile home.