Bhubaneswar, Feb 10 (PTI) The BJP in Odisha Sunday hit out at Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and sought an answer about the kidnap and trafficking of a 16-year-old girl from Sundergarh, who was recently rescued from Rajasthan.

The Chief Minister must answer as to why Odisha police failed to rescue the girl for over one year while the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) could so it in two days, Odisha BJP Mahila Morcha President Prabhati Parida said.

Saying there was no safety for women in Odisha, she said DCWs letter on lapses of police in the Sundergarh girl case showed there is delay in delivering justice to women.

Referring to the letter written by DCW Chairperson Swati Maliwal to the chief minister, Parida said the father of the girl had approached the police officials and district administration, but his pleas went unheeded.

Parida further claimed that 1,465 kidnap cases were registered in the state last year and sought the intervention of the chief minister for speedy investigation into them.

The BJP women wing leader’s statement comes two days after DCW alleged involvement of some Odisha Police personnel in the kidnap and trafficking of the 16-year-old girl and demanded action against erring officials and traffickers.

On February 5, the DCW, along with Rajasthan Police, rescued the girl from Jhunjhunu. She was allegedly kidnapped and trafficked from Rourkela in Sundargarh district in 2017.

In a letter to Odisha Chief Minister, DCW Chairperson Swati Maliwal claimed that the girl’s father, a retired railway officer, has alleged that after her disappearance, he had approached the Odisha Police, whose personnel had traced the girl and brought her back to Odisha from Rajasthan.

“The concerned Child Welfare Committee directed the police to hand over the girl to the father. However, he has alleged that instead of handing over his daughter, the police officials in connivance with the traffickers, facilitated the return of the girl to Rajasthan.

“Thereafter, over the last one year, he approached several authorities in Odisha…,but to no avail,” Maliwal said in the letter.

Maliwal said the girl was subjected to rape and abuse for over a year and somehow managed to contact her father, recently. They then informed the DCW and she was rescued.

Currently, she has been housed in a shelter home in Delhi.

The DCW chairperson said that the alleged “connivance of Odisha Police in the trafficking of the girl is extremely serious”.

“While the DCW was able to rescue the girl within a short span of receiving information, I fail to understand why the Odisha Police failed to do so for over a year. Due to the alleged negligence and connivance of the police, the girl and her father have undergone immeasurable suffering and the girl is deeply traumatised,” Maliwal said.

Maliwal has sought Patnaik’s intervention in the matter and urged him to ensure that the alleged traffickers as well as police officials concerned were immediately arrested.

She also asked the chief minister to provide for the rehabilitation, protection and welfare of the girl.

According to a DCW official, the girl was kidnapped, sold and forced into a marriage with a 40-year-old man, who has been raping her over one year.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.