Odisha Crime Branch to challenge Pipili gang-rape verdict in High Court

Cuttack: Odisha Crime Branch ADG Santosh Kumar Upadhyay on Thursday informed that the probe agency has decided to move the Orissa High Court challenging Bhubaneswar ADJ Court’s verdict in the Pipili gang-rape and murder case of 2011.

It is worthwhile to mention here that the Bhubaneswar Court had on December 27 acquitted the two prime accused brothers—Sukant Pradhan and Prashant— in the sensational case due to lack of evidence against them.

The siblings were booked under Sections 341, 307, 376 and 506 of the IPC and Section 3 of the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocity) Act. Two other accused in the case namely Guna Swain and Premenanda Nayak are still under trial in the case.

“The court in its verdict has mentioned that murder has been established but the involvement of the accused persons has not been established. We received the written arguments of the Public Prosecutor today and he has opined there are strong and valid grounds in the case to prefer appeal before higher court,” said Upadhyay while speaking to the newsmen this evening.

The documents received are being scrutinised and as per the established protocol the Crime Branch will soon approach the Director of Public Prosecutions to appeal before the Orissa High Court, Cuttack, he added.

Notably, the Pipili gang rape incident came to fore on November 28 after the victim, a Dalit girl from Arjungoda village, was found in an unconscious and semi-naked state from a paddy field in the village.

The 19-year-old girl was admitted to Capital Hospital in Bhubaneswar in January, 2012. She was later shifted to SCB Medical in Cuttack following an order by Orissa High Court. After remaining in coma for six months the victim breathed her last in June 2012.

While the IIC of the Pipili Police Station under which the incident took place along with three doctors were dismissed from their jobs following the incident, a minister of the State Cabinet also suffered action. However, the minister was given clean chit and the police officer was reinstated by the orders of the Orissa High Court.

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