Cuttack, Dec 27 (PTI) The Crime Branch of Odisha Police Thursday said it would move the High Court challenging a trial court order acquitting the two accused in the rape and murder of a woman at Pipili in Puri district.

A trial court in Bhubaneswar on Monday had absolved the two accused of the 2011-12 rape and murder of the 19-year-old woman of Pipili.

“As per the established procedure, we will write to the Director of Public Prosecution so as to prefer an appeal before the High Court to challenge the verdict delivered by the Bhubaneswar-based court of first additional session judge,” said Crime branch ADGP Santosh K. Upadhaya here.

Addressing newsmen, the ADGP said after going through the court documents, including the written arguments and depositions of the APP, the public prosecutor has given his opinion suggesting that there are strong and valid grounds to prefer an appeal challenging the acquittal verdict.

Prashant Pradhan of Pipili, who allegedly had a relationship with the victim, and his younger brother Sukant were arrested in connection with the case. The woman was allegedly raped and an attempt was made to kill her by strangulation on November 28, 2011.

The incident had triggered massive public outcry following allegations that local BJD MLA and then minister Pradeep Maharathy had “sheltered” the accused. The state government handed over the case to crime branch police to investigate and Maharathy was asked to put in his papers.

The victim slipped into comatose state while undergoing treatment at the SCB Medical College and Hospital here and she died on June 21, 2012.

Meanwhile, opposition Congress and BJP Thursday demanded resignation of Maharathy, who is now Agriculture minister after he allegedly issued a controversial statement saying that “the victim girl got justice even as the accused persons are acquitted in the case.”

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.