Bhubaneswar, Aug 26:
The Odisha Patita Udhar Samiti (OPUS) on Monday urged Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik through the State Commission for Women (SCW) to fix Rs 10 lakh as compensation to each rape victim as a matter of policy within 45 days.
Around one hundred members of the Samiti came in a procession starting from the Blind Association office at Satyanagar to the front of the SCW office here protesting the alleged injustice to rape victims of the State.
Samiti secretary Abharani Choudhury said while the State Government had announced compensation of Rs 10 lakh in politically sensitive cases to the family members of rape victims to avoid protests by the opposition, social activists and the public at large, it applied different standards in other cases.
Citing an example, she said the State had declared Rs 2, 95,000 to Sunita Bindhani, a rape victim of Indapahi in Mayurbhanj district, only when the family of the deceased threatened to sit on dharana in front of the residence of the Women and Child Development Minister here. In contrast, Rashmita Behera, the deaf and dumb dalit rape victim of Barakot (Badasada) in Angul district, was given just Rs 20,000 as compensation.
She said out of the 10,725 rape cases reported from 2000 to 2011, the victims in 619 cases belonged to scheduled castes (SC) while 407 belonged to scheduled tribes (ST). More than 1400 of rape cases had been reported in the year 2012, she added.
“If the State Government does not give Rs 10 lakh as compensation to all rape victims, we will move the High Court,” said Choudhury.