Bhubaneswar, Jan 2 (PTI) The BJP women’s wing continued its agitation Wednesday over the acquittal of Pipili gang rape and murder case accused, and marched towards the chief minister’s residence for the second day in a row.
The BJP Mahila Morcha marched towards ‘Naveen Niwas’, the residence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, where they had a scuffle with security personnel.
Patnaik was at his office in the secretariat during the agitation.
The BJP Mahila Morcha was demanding expulsion of Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy, charged with sheltering the accused in the Pipili case, and handing over the case to the CBI as, it claimed, the state Crime Branch police failed to deliver justice to the victim.
“If the minister does not tender his resignation, BJP Mahila Morcha will intensify the agitation,” Morcha leader Rashmirekha Das said.
The women activists were agitating for the third consecutive day. They marched towards the CM’s residence Tuesday and gheraoed the Crime Branch headquarters the previous day.
A court in Bhubaneswar on December 24 had acquitted the two accused in the case due to lack of evidence. Soon after their acquittal, Maharathy said the victim and her family got justice.
The agriculture minister, however, apologised later.
A 19-year-old woman was found unconscious and semi- naked in a paddy field at Pipili in Puri district on November 28, 2011. She succumbed on June 21, 2012 after remaining semi -comatose in SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack.
Maharathy had to resign from the ministry in 2012 in the face of a statewide hue and cry for allegedly sheltering the accused persons. He again became minister in 2014.
“The state government used policemen to disperse the women activists. This is not acceptable in a civilised society,” Das said adding that the Mahila Morcha activists will stage demonstrations from naveen Niwas to the state secretariat every day.
Police took several activists into preventive custody.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.