Reported by Chinmaya Dehury/Edited by Sandeep Sahu
Bhubaneswar, Nov 12:
With the potato crisis in the state improving marginally in the last 24 hours, opposition parties on Tuesday turned their attention to the one issue that is not unlikely to vanish in a hurry: the murder of lady teacher Ithishree Pradhan. Coinciding with the arrival of a two-member team from the National Commission for Women (NCW), the Congress and the BJP, the two principal opposition parties, upped the ante on the issue demanding the resignation of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and handing over of the case to the CBI for an impartial probe.
While the Mahila Congress took out a rally on Mahatma Gandhi Marg, the BJP preferred to stage a dharna before Raj Bhawan to corner the state government for failing to provide protection to the lady teacher and allegedly sheltering the accused involved in the heinous act. BJP also resorted to road blockade near the party office to protest against the government.
“Itishree had blamed the chief minister, along with the administration for her death in her plight in her dying declaration. So, under section 32 of the Evidence Act, the chief minister should be charge sheeted. He should also tender his resignation immediately and come out clean in the case,” said PCC president Jaydev Jena, who led the rally along with Mahila Congress president Bijaylaxmi Sahu.
Hundred of Congress workers courted arrest during the protest rally.
The BJP, which stageda dharna near Raj Bhawan, attacked the state government for its lackadaisical attitude towards the safety of women even though cases of atrocities against women have been rising alarmingly in the state.
“The heinous and despicable murder of Itishree Pradhan has thoroughly exposed the incapability, insensitivity and callousness of the government and the guardians of the law in the state from top to bottom,” said state BJP president KV Singhdeo in a memorandum submitted to Governor SC Jamir.
Demanding a CBI probe into the case, Singhdeo urged the Governor to issue directions to the state government to take action against all those officers including the district Collector, Superintendent of Police, Director General of Police, Koraput MP Jayram Pangi, School and Mass Education Minister Rabi Nanda and the chief minister, who not only failed to protect the life of Itishree, but also facilitated the commission of crime by the perpetrators.