Dr. Punia in a press meet at the State Guest House on Monday
Dr. Punia (extreme right) in a press meet at the State Guest House on Monday
Bhubaneswar: In a press meet at the State Guest House today, Dr. P. L Punia, the Chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC), demanded the arrest of former Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy in connection with the Pipili gangrape case.

“Maharathy is party to the crime. He should be arrested and sent to jail,” Punia told reporters here.

SCB Medical College and Hospital, Cuttack on Monday
SCB Medical College and Hospital, Cuttack on Monday
Earlier in the day, Punia visited the SCB Medical College and Hospital, Cuttack. He visited the victim at the Central ICU of the SCB MCH and inquired about her health, who is in a state of coma ever since the incident. He also interacted with the family members of the victim.

It is noteworthy to mention that the 19-year-old dalit girl was allegedly gang raped on November 28 last year. The shocking incident came to light, when the girl was denied proper treatment at a hospital and some journalists reported on her.

 Dr. Punia interacting with the family members of the victim at SCB Medical College and Hospital, Cuttack on Monday
Dr. Punia interacting with the family members of the victim at SCB Medical College and Hospital, Cuttack on Monday
The incident has created a political storm, prompting Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy to resign on Jan 19 on moral grounds after the opposition and the girl’s family alleged that he had protected the accuseds.

The incident is being investigated by the Crime Branch of the state police and a one-man judicial commission headed by Justice PK Mohanty, retired judge of the Orissa High Court.

As a part of its probe, Crime Branch has already conducted polygraph tests on all the four accused allegedly involved in this case.