Bhubaneswar: The BJP’s women’s wing activists Tuesday marched towards the Chief Minister’s residence here and scuffled with security personnel in their bid to meet Naveen Patnaik over the acquittal of the accused in the Pipili gang rape and murder case.
BJP Mahila Morcha workers were demanding expulsion of Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy and handing over the case to the CBI, the organisation’s president Pravati Parida said.
The state Crime Branch police failed to deliver justice to the rape and murder victim and that was why the accused were acquitted, she claimed.
The Mahila Morcha activists carried bangles during their march to ‘Naveen Niwas’ and wanted to gift those to the Chief Minister for his silence over the “objectionable remarks” made by Maharathy, organisation secretary Lekhashree Samantsinghar said.
The police detained many Mahila Morcha activists.
Patnaik, however, was not at home during the commotion as he is at Puri to visit Lord Jagannth’s temple there.
The Chief Minister’s Office Monday said Patnaik will not be able to meet well wishers on the New Year’s Day due to health issues.
A court in Bhubaneswar had acquitted the two accused in the case December 24 due to lack of evidence. Soon after their acquittal, Maharathy said the victim and her family got justice.
The Agriculture Minister, however, apologised later.
A 19-year-old woman was found unconscious and semi-naked in a paddy field at Pipili in Puri district November 28, 2011. She succumbed June 21, 2012 after remaining semi-comatose in SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack.
Maharathy had to resign from the ministry in 2012 in the face of a statewide hue and cry for allegedly sheltering the accused persons. He again became minister in 2014.
BJP Mahila Morcha activists Monday demonstrated near Crime Branch Headquarters in Cuttack demanding justice for Pipili gang rape and murder victim and alleging that the prosecution botched the investigation into it.