A sordid incident of alleged rape of an HIV positive girl at a shelter home in Kalahandi district rocked Odisha on Monday even as the harried district administration initiated a probe and arrested the superintendent of the shelter home.
The victim had left for Bolangir district along with her mother where she narrated the horrific incident to a few media persons the report of which outraged the state.
Coupled to this was another incident in Angul district where a minor girl of a nomadic family was raped and dumped near a garbage pit.
And if that was not enough, the increasing number of girl children in Odisha, as revealed by the figures placed in the state Assembly recently, turned out to be a cruel irony to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s claim of satisfaction over the law and order situation in the state.
Odisha Assembly on Monday witnessed an uproar as the BJP and Congress raised the issue and wanted a discussion. The Speaker SN Patro was forced to adjourn the House several times to try and restore order.
Leader of Opposition Pradipta Kumar Naik of the BJP raised the issue and denounced the Government for its abject failure to protect minor girls in the state.
Naik said more than 6,000 girls and boys have gone missing from the state within a span of four years and 40 per cent of them remain untraced. He suspected that these missing children were being used in flesh trade or organ trade. He charged that out of 459 boys and 1875 girls who have gone missing in 2018, only 285 boys and 854 girls were found.
Congress Legislature Party leader Narasingha Mishra targeted Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik saying barely two days ago the CM had claimed that the state was peaceful, law and order fine and rape accused persons are arrested.
“If the law and order situation is all right in the state, how could the number of rape cases increase to 2500 in 2018 from 2200 cases in 2017?” he remarked.
Mishra said a 13-year-old HIV-affected girl of Bolangir was raped by the owner of a shelter home in Bhawanipatna and an eight-year-old girl was raped in Angul but there was no response from the government.
He said the functioning and the discussion in the house has no meaning as the government is not taking any step on the issues raised in the Assembly.
The BJP and the Congress members shouted slogans in the well of the House and demanded the resignation of Patnaik who is also in charge of the home department.
When the Congress members were in the well, the BJP MLAs including the party’s lone woman lawmaker Kusum Tete attempted to climb the Speaker’s podium. Speaker Patro asked the government to make a statement in the House.
Later, Congress MLAs squatted in front of the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in the precincts of the Assembly as a mark of protest for a brief while.