Puri: “My daughter’s soul is still crying”. Said the “shocked and disappointed” mother of the sensational Pipli gang-rape victim raising questions over the functioning of the Indian justice system soon after a local court on Monday acquitted the prime accused, Prasant Pradhan and his brother Sukant Pradhan citing lack of evidence.
Minutes after the court’s judgement when reporters reached her home to know her reaction to the news, the already heart-broken woman couldn’t believe the news. And, within seconds, tears welled up in her eyes, indicating her helplessness over the situation.
“We didn’t get justice,” the mother of the victim said. “The rapists of my daughter are still alive and have been freed despite committing the crime”.
The woman, who was expecting conviction, expressed her inability to challenge the order in the higher court.
“My daughter’s soul will rest in peace if Prasant Pradhan (prime accused) should be hanged to death,” said the woman as she broke into sobs.
The father of the gang-rape victim was equally “shocked” and “heart-broken” after hearing news that his daughter’s rapists will soon roam freely like other innocent people.
“What we will say now? The Crime Branch was investigating the matter and the court gave the judgement today,” he said, expressing his disappointment saying “we didn’t get the justice”.
When asked whether he is planning to fight the case in the coming days, his answer: “We are poor people. I can’t say anything now”.
Only one line he was repeatedly saying and deeply wishing: “My daughter will get justice if exemplary punishment to be meted out to the accused”.
Earlier today, the Bhubaneswar Additional District Judge acquitted Prasant Pradhan and his brother Sukant Pradhan due to lack of evidence seven years after the sensational case which had triggered outrage and protests across the State.
Notably, a 19-year-old Dalit girl of Arjungoda village under Pipli police limits of Puri district was found in a semi-nude and unconscious state near her house on November 29, 2011. Her family members had alleged gang rape and an attempt on her life. After spending more than four months in coma, the victim died at SCB Medical College and Hospital on June 21, 2012.
The incident soon snowballed into a major controversy, and also accounted for a Cabinet Minister losing his job, an IPS officer being shunted, and a police inspector being dismissed from service.