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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 31:

Following ruckus by Opposition Congress and BJP members in Odisha Assembly over the alleged gangrape of a minor tribal girl in Patrapur block of Ganjam district, Speaker Niranjan Pujari today issued a ruling directing the state government to place a statement in the House over the incident.

Earlier in the day, the House witnessed repeated adjournments as Congress and BJP members created noise raising the matter.

The issue was raised during Zero Hour by Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra, who repeated his demand of a Crime Branch (CB) probe into the incident and a statement from Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

BJP legislature party leader KV Singhdeo also demanded a statement from Patnaik.

Subsequently, members of both the parties rushed to the Well of the House and shouted anti-government slogans.

Amid pandemonium, Speaker Niranjan Pujari adjourned the House thrice in a row till 3 pm.

“This is a shameful incident for the entire state and nation. The incident would have rocked the country if it had occurred in Delhi. The matter is being suppressed as the accused belong to the ruling party. The Chief Minister is protecting them,” Mishra told reporters outside the House.

“We have demanded a statement of the Chief Minister over the incident,” he said.

“The Congress is trying to politicise the incident and the BJP is supporting it. This is a matter of dignity of a tribal girl and the BJD is concerned about it. Investigation has started into the incident under the leadership of an SDPO. Action will be taken against anyone found guilty in the incident,” said BJD MLA Captain Dibya Shankar Mishra outside the House.

On the other hand, Women and Child Development Minister Usha Devi said outside the House that the minor girl had married to a person at a Shiv temple after eloping with him, who later fled away leaving her alone in a forest.

The girl in her statement before the district judge has revealed these. This is not a case of gangrape, she said.

Notably, a 13-year-old tribal girl of Ankuli panchayat under Patrapur block in Ganjam district was allegedly gangraped by her five cousin brothers for 9 days at a forest over their political rivalry with her father.