One year later, accused yet to be identified in gang-rape, murder case

The accused in the case of gang-rape and murder of a 16-year-old +2 student in Ganjam district of Odisha are yet to be identified even after one year despite investigation by the State Crime Branch.

The gruesome crime on August 2, 2014, had shocked the State last year. Sisters of the victim as well as other girls from her village are still not feeling safe enough to travel alone to their college. A student agitation is brewing up in Ganjam district to protest against the failure of the police to nab the accused. The Students’ Federation of India (SFI) has started organising students for a protest demonstration.

The victim’s elder sister Sangita Pradhan is organising college students for an agitation to put pressure on the government. The State government had ordered a Crime Branch enquiry into the case.

“Two days back we got information that the government has sanctioned Rs.75,000 compensation for our family. But we have decided to continue with our protest and agitation till the accused are nabbed and punished by law,” said Sangita.

The students had demanded Rs.10 lakh compensation for the family of the victim.

The body of the victim, a +2 first year student of Shahid Bhagat Singh Memorial College at Khandadeuli, had been found in an agricultural field on August 3, 2014. She had been gang-raped and murdered the previous day. “The murder hinted that the accused were localites whom the victim could have identified,” said SFI leader Ram Chandra Nayak.

He alleged that the State police and the Crime Branch had failed in the task perhaps due to the links of culprits with the leaders of the ruling party in Odisha.

CPI (M) State secretary Ali Kishore Patnaik had also alleged political links of the culprits and criticised inefficiency of the police despite the fact that the CM holds the Home portfolio.