Bhubaneswar: Even as Minister Pradeep Maharathy resigned from the State Cabinet amid growing pressure over his controversial remarks on court verdict in Pipili gang rape case, the Opposition parties-BJP and Congress- didn’t relent and vowed to take their agitation forward till justice is ensured to the victim.
BJP leader and union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan demanded re-investigation of the case by the central agency. “The BJP’s movement for justice to victim and her family has not concluded with just a minister’s resignation. Our agitation will continue till the girl gets justice. We demand CBI should investigate the matter as State agency failed to put the accused behind bars. Maharathy has resigned only after PM Narendra Modi called upon the State government to reinitiate inquiry. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik should apologise in public and order for CBI probe if he really wants to give justice to a dalit girl”, Pradhan told news men after a party programme in Lathipada of Nayagarh.
PCC president Niranjan Patnaik also echoed similar voice. In a tweet, he stated “BJD’s Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy has been forced to resign after @OdishaPMC’s protest following his shameful remark hailing the acquittal of #PipliGangRape accused. The Congress is committed to the cause of providing dignity and security to every woman of Odisha”.
“It took CM @Naveen_Odisha 12 days and a plethora of condemnation from Congress to decide on the resignation of his minister. This exposes his anti-woman mindset. CM must know, women of Odisha are angry & watching his actions and will answer him soon with the power of ballot,” he added in another tweet.
His party colleague and Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra said his resignation is fallout of widespread public anger. His remark hailing acquittal of accused is really controversial and condemnable, Mishra added.
Mahila Congress president Sumitra Jena, who was instrumental in leading her party’s movement against BJD, said that she is not at all happy with the resignation of the minister. Her party will intensify the agitation till the dalit girl gets justice.
BJD, on the other hand, denied the demand for CBI inquiry. “The government will appeal in the High Court and make all out efforts to ensure justice to the victim. Court’s integrity should not be questioned. There is no need of judicial inquiry. Law will take its own course.”, BJD spokesperson Sasmit Patra said.
Denying necessities of CBI probe, Patra said Itishree murder case was also investigated by the CBI. But, the central agency failed to bring the accused to fore, he added.