Bhubaneswar: Intensifying its protest against Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy for his comments hailing the acquittal of Pipili gang-rape and murder accused, the BJP Mahaila Morcha today decided to collect red bangles from women across the State and give the same to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on January 10 for not taking any action against Maharathy.
BJP Mahila Morcha State president Pravati Parida in a press conference said that women activists will gherao the Naveen Niwas, the residence of the Chief Minister on January 10 to register their protest.
On December 31, the BJP women’s wing gheraoed the State Crime Branch police headquarters demanding justice for 2011-12 Pipili gang rape and murder victim and alleging that the prosecution botched the investigation into it.
The women activists also clashed with the police personnel in the capital city while the former was on their way to gherao Naveen Niwas.
The first additional session court of Bhubaneswar earlier this month acquitted key accused Prashant Pradhan and his younger brother Sushant in the case.
The trial court however, has held that the 19-year-old girl was murdered. Meanwhile, the Crime Branch decided to challenge the verdict in the Orissa High Court. Maharathy courted controversy after welcoming the recent acquittal of two men in the 2011 gang-rape and murder of a girl at Pipili in Puri district.
A 19-year-old woman was found unconscious and semi- naked in a paddy field in Pipli on November 28, 2011. She succumbed on June 21, 2012 after remaining semi-comatose in SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack.
Maharathy had to resign from the Ministry in 2012 amid a State-wide hue and cry for allegedly sheltering the accused persons. Maharathy again became a Minister in 2014.