Tuesday, February 14, 2012

[ZESTCaste] Pipili rape: Governor upset over SCW report, seeks fresh probe



Pipili rape: Governor upset over SCW report, seeks fresh probe
Rajaram Satapathy, TNN | Feb 14, 2012, 06.28AM IST

BHUBANESWAR: Governor M C Bhandare is reportedly upset over the recent
controversial report prepared by the State Commission for Women (SCW)
chairperson on the Pipili incident involving a 19-year-old Dalit girl,
who is now battling her life in a comatose state at the SCB Medical
College and hospital, Cuttack. The governor asked the commission to
study the issue further and prepare a fresh report, informed sources

The governor, who visited the victim at the SCB, had a meeting with
the commission chairperson Jyoti Panigrahi on Saturday on the Pipili
issue, attended by legal officer and other key officials. The meeting
discussed Panigrahi's report, which has since invited severe criticism
from many quarters with allegations that even while the crime branch
is investigating the matter she submitted the report without doing
sufficient homework and field visit, ostensibly as a face saver for
the government. Though Panigrahi later denied the charge saying that
she only placed the contents in the complaints, few have bought her

When contacted, the SCW chairperson admitted to meeting the governor,
but declined to divulge details. "The meeting discussed women-related
issues including the incident that took place near Pipili," Panigrahi
said. She parried queries on whether or not the governor asked her to
study the incident further and prepare another report. "As chairperson
of the commission I can send reports to appropriate authority from
time to time," she said.

Panigrahi invited protests by opposition parties and various women's
organizations after she submitted her report to the chief minister on
February 1, in which she recommended strong action against doctors
both at the Capital hospital and SCB for neglecting the treatment of
the girl, but remained silent about action against police, which
repeatedly refused to accept complaints from the girl's family and
allegedly tried to hush up the matter reportedly under pressure from
ruling BJD leaders.

Police registered cases under different sections of IPC, including 376
(rape) on January 9 at 7 pm after hurriedly obtaining a complaint from
the girl's family at the Capital hospital here, only after the state
human rights commission took up the case. The complaint highlighted
how she was earlier taken to the SCB, but was treated like a 'dog' and
released under pressure from politicians. The complaint also alleged
that the women's commission 'despite knowing everything took no
tangible action'.

The November 29 incident, in which miscreants allegedly attempted to
gang rape the girl and strangulate her to death at a field near her
house, about 5 kms from Pipili, has since wreaked havoc in the state,
leading to resignation of the local MLA and minister Pradip Maharathy,
transfer of Puri SP and dismissal of Pipili police station inspector.

Member secretary of National Commission for Women (NCW) and senior
functionaries from the National Commission for Scheduled Caste (NCSC)
visited SCB and the victim girl's village to investigate into the
case. Sources said D Basak, director of NCSC has submitted a six-page
report to the commission on the issue.

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