Activists take out street protests against administrative negligence

Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party, two principal opposition political parties, here on Tuesday took to the street protesting against administrative negligence that led to murder of lady teacher, Itishree Pradhan, in Rayagada district.

A two-member team of National Commission for Women (NCW) arrived on Tuesday to probe the circumstances leading to murder of the teacher.

While women wing of Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) took out a rally, BJP staged demonstration in front of Raj Bhawan before submitting memorandum to Governor A. C Jamir.

Hundreds of cadres of Mahila Congress participated in the rally taken out protesting that the government neglected in its duty to protect a women who was facing sexual harassment in workplace.

‘Naveen should resign’

“Administration had not taken steps what it ought to have taken. Culprits of heinous act should be brought to justice. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik should own moral responsibility and resign from the post as he failed a woman in distress,” said OPCC President Jayadev Jena who led the protest rally. Congress members also courted arrest during their demonstration at Lower PMG Square, in front of State Assembly.

Similarly, State BJP president K. V. Singhdeo who led BJP delegation to Rajbhawan said, “in every stage from district magistrate to superintendent of police and from local minister and MP to Chief Minister’s Office, the victim had pleaded for protection. But due to administrative negligence, the lady was burnt to death.” “State Crime Branch was not right agency to probe the murder case. The Crime Branch is under political influence. The investigation should be handed over to CBI for a fair probe,” Mr. Singhdeo said. In the memorandum, BJP said, “by day, the law and order situation in the State has deteriorated to an extent that nobody, whoever he or she might be, feels safe and secured. In this scenario, the worst victims have been the women of the State irrespective of their age and place and the incumbent government have been absolutely callous in ensuring their safety and delivering justice to them.” On their arrival at Biju Patnaik Airport here on Tuesday, NCW members Hemlata Kheria and Mansi Pradhan said they would visit victim’s village in Delanga area in Puri district and subsequently they would move to Tikri, the workplace of deceased teacher, in Rayagada district. “We have just begun probe into the issue. Once we go through facts and hold discussions with district and State level officials, then only we will be in a position to make any statement,” Ms. Kheria said.