Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, Feb 14:
The Odisha High Court has on Thursday directed the Odisha government to pay an additional amount of Rs one lakh to the family members of the blind girl who was brutally murdered after being raped at Beladala on the Puri-Konark marine drive on June 5 last year.
On January 30 this year, the Odisha government’s additional secretary, Home, Prafulla Chandra Pradhan had filed an affidavit in the Odisha High Court stating that out of the Rs 1.5 lakh compensation announced by the state government to the family of the victim, Rs 75, 000 had already been paid. Apart from this, the district collector had provided Rs 10,000 to the victim’s family, Pradhan had pointe out in his affidavit.
It may be mentioned here that in its report submitted to the National Commission for Women (NCW), a two-member team of the comprising Hemlata Kheria and Manasi Pradhan, which had visited Odisha to conduct an inquiry into the incident on August 22 last year, had suggested the immediate transfer of the case to an SIT consisting of police officers with expertise in crime investigation with at least one lady officer and headed by an officer not below the rank of Deputy Commissioner with a mandate to complete the investigation within 60 days.
The NCW members had made the recommendations after visiting the victim’s native place, Puri District Headquarters Hospital and concerned police stations.
In its report, the NCW team had stated that the state government had failed to initiate a serious inquiry into the heinous incident.
“Even clear Supreme Court guidelines for conducting rape investigations by an expert woman police officer under the supervision of a police officer not below the rank of ACP with active participation of a forensic expert has been thrown to the winds by the state government,” the team had observed in its report.
The team had then blasted the state government for its Rs 10,000 compensation to victim’s family and suggested a compensation of Rs 10 lakh instead.