Bhubaneswar, March 21: Odisha Assembly today witnessed uproar over the alleged gang rape of a 32-year-old Dalit woman, mother of four children, in the Patkura police station area of Kendrapara district.
The victim’s 10-year-old daughter was an eyewitness. Speaker Pradip Amat was forced to adjourn the House twice till the afternoon as the Opposition Congress members had stormed the Well demanding a statement from the chief minister and discussion in the House.
As soon as the House was convened for the day, the Congress members trooped into the Well shouting slogans. They showed copies of local dailies and demanded that the matter be discussed forthwith suspending all other business.
However, the Speaker did not listen to their plea and went ahead with the question-answer session. Infuriated, Congress members created a ruckus in the House, forcing the Speaker to adjourn the proceedings. As unruly scenes continued after the House reassembled at 12.45pm, the proceedings were again adjourned till 3pm.
“The government has been insensitive to such a burning problem and does not want the matter to be discussed in the House,” said Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh. Parliamentary affairs minister Kalpataru Das said the Opposition could have raised the issue during Zero Hour instead of stalling the question and answer session.
In another development, police have begun investigation of the case after the victim lodged a complaint last night. The alleged incident occurred at Ghodadanda village in the Patkura police limits on March 19. The victim and her spouse were tenant farmers, staying in a thatched house provided to them by the landowner.
The landowner, who has been named as one of the accused, drove them away recently over some dispute. Later, the mud house built by the duo was ransacked by the accused, the police said, quoting the contents of the complaint.
Cases have been registered against the two suspects on the basis of victim’s complaint under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and Section 3 of the Prevention of Atrocity against Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes Act, said Kendrapara superintendent of police Sarthak Sadangi. The complainant said her daughter was an eyewitness to the crime. But, she was not traceable.
The police are trying to record her statement to expedite the investigation, Sadangi added.