Bhubaneswar: A day after the two accused siblings in the 2011 Pipli gang rape and murder case were acquitted due to lack of evidence, local MLA and Cabinet Minister Pradeep Maharathy Tuesday hailed the judgment saying ‘truth prevails’.
The Bhubaneswar Additional District Judge had Monday acquitted prime accused Prashant Pradhan and his brother Sukant due to lack of evidence against them.
Speaking to media persons here, Maharathy said, “Bebina is an innocent girl. I had told then and now also I reiterate that I feel sorry for the incident (gangrape and murder), but honour the court’s verdict.” The verdict has separated milk from water, , the minister said, “The truth has been unraveled. I honour the judgement. While tendering my resignation, I had told then too that truth would unfold one day.”
When asked how the girl from his area died, the BJD leader replied, “I don’t know.” Be it the case of Chhabirani or Bebina, truth always triumphants, he maintained.
The statements of Maharathy, however, drew sharp criticism from the Opposition Congress and BJP. Pradesh Mahila Congress president Sumitra Jena said, “What is inside Maharathy’s head, we don’t know. Only the minister can explain what his definition of justice is.”
Slamming the minister for making such statement, state BJP women’s wing president Pravati Parida alleged that such attitude of the state government was responsible for rise in rape incidents in Odisha.
“The statement of Maharathy is unfortunate and it shows that he has lost his mental balance. The minister does not know what he is saying,” she said.
The investigating agencies of state are being engaged for destroy of evidences, she alleged. The ruling BJD never gives justice to any rape victim and due to this women and girls are not safe in the state, the BJP leader said.
It is worth mentioning here that the 19-year-old girl was found unconscious and semi-naked in a paddy field on November 28, 2011. She succumbed on June 21, 2012 after remaining semi-comatose in SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack.
Meanwhile, the counsel of the state Crime Branch told Orissa POST that his client was considering moving the high court against the judgment in the Pipli gangrape and murder case.