Cuttack/Dhenkanal, Jan. 21: Encouraged by their success in forcing the resignation of agriculture minister Pradeep Maharathy, the Opposition is now training its guns on women and child development minister Anjali Behera for her alleged role in the death of Hinjili block samiti chairman Nabaghana Sahu.
The demand for Behera’s resignation gained momentum after Orissa High Court on Thursday directed the state CID-crime b ranch to probe further in the case.
The minister said: “Those jealous of my rise have
hatched a conspiracy against me. They want to defame me.”
The case sparked a controversy because a close confidant of the minister had been named the main accused. There were allegations that Behera, the local MLA, was behind the death of Sahu because she saw him as a threat to her political career. The state CID-crime branch took over the probe into the case on June 1.
BJD member Nabaghana Sahu died on May 14, 2011, after being hit by a jeep when he was walking back to Ganjara village from a visit to his cashew fields.
The deceased’s brother Muralidhar alleged that he was murdered and lodged an FIR at Rasol police station.
Hearing a petition, the high court asked the crime branch to go ahead with the investigation connected to a letter purportedly written by Sahu a few days before he died, and submit a report within 10 days.
The court issued the directive after the CID-crime branch submitted a forensic report that confirmed the signature in the letter, written to the superintendent of police, Dhenkanal, to be of Sahu.
The deceased had purportedly written to the superintendent of police, Dhenkanal, seeking protection for he felt his life was in danger.
Balasore rape case
A 22-year-old woman from Balasore, claiming to be the victim of a gangrape, today lodged a complaint with the state Human Rights Commission against police inaction. She alleged that despite two-and-a-half months passing since the incident, no arrests have been made.
The woman, who hails from Kupari village in Balasore, said she was raped by four youths of her area on September 25. The accused had taken nude photographs of her and threatening her not to make the matter public.
“I lodged a complaint at Khaira police station,” said the woman, adding that the police sent her for medical examination on November 4. However, she accused the cops of not taking any action because the accused were apparently roaming freely. She had also met the superintendent of police and the director general of police last November, both of whom assured to take action.
“We are taking steps to arrest the accused. These culprits are absconding and we have got non-bailable warrants against them,” said Bijay Kumar Sahu, inspector in charge of Khaira police station.
“When I was going to a temple near her village, four persons Laxmidhara nayak, Pradeep Jena, Ramesh Sahoo and Kalia Jena took me to a nearby jungle gagging my mouth and the first two accused raped me there while other two left the spot. They even took my nude photographs,” said the girl.