Bhubaneswar, Jan 1 (LocalWire) Activists of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Mahila Morcha clashed with police when the latter stopped them from meeting Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at Naveen Niwas here in connection with Pipili gang rape and murder case.
According to police, the activists, led by BJP Mahila Morcha president Pravati Parida and BJP state unit secretary Lekhashree Samantsinghar, marched to meet Patnaik seeking sacking of agriculture minister Pradeep Maharathy for his “insensitive rape comment” and also a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) investigation into the case.
However, the police stopped them at Airport Traffic Square near the Forest Park where the Morcha activists reportedly scuffled with them.
Several activists, including the president and the secretary, were detained in this connection.
Amid criticisms and demand for his resignation growing stronger, Maharathy had already apologized for his remark on Pipili rape case.
“I am sorry if my statement hurt anybody. It was not intentional. I am a very open-minded person,” Maharathy told reporters.
The Bhubaneswar Additional District Judge Court had acquitted prime accused Prashant Pradhan and his brother Sukant Pradhan on December 24 due to lack of evidence in a 2011 sensational gang-rape case.
A 19-year-old girl of Arjungoda village at Pipili in Puri district had reportedly slipped into coma after allegedly being gang-raped.
Commenting on the judgement, Maharathy had hailed the court’s verdict and said truth has finally prevailed.
” “I welcome the verdict. It is victory of the truth. The victim finally got the justice,” he had reportedly said.
This statement triggered criticism from all quarters, including political rivals Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
“How did the victim get justice when the accused were acquitted?” asked Odisha Mahila Congress president Sumitra Jena.