Opposition Congress and BJP stalled the Assembly proceedings right through the day alleging rising cases of rape in the state, collapse of the police administration and failure of CM Naveen Patnaik to even condemn increasing instances of rapes.
Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra raised the issue saying media had reported four rape cases yesterday in a district. Quoting Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s statement in the house a couple of days ago when the instances of rape were raised, Mr Mishra regretted that not a single point raised by the Opposition was answered and not a word of condemnation uttered.
He had read out a draft prepared by somebody and did not respond to the instances of rape raised by us, chided Mishra. The Chief Minister should say what he has done and what steps his government is taking to curb such heinous crime, noted Mishra.
BJP MLA Rabi Naik said the offenders have no fear of the police. On the other hand the central government had expressed concern and promulgated an Ordinance for death penalty to culprits who rape minor girls, he pointed out.
Even as BJD MLA and chief whip Amar Satpathy stood up to note that in each case of rape referred to by the Opposition, the police had arrested the accused, the Congress and BJP members trooped into the well disrupting proceedings and forcing as many as three adjournments.
Talking to reporters outside the Assembly, veteran BJD leader Dr Damodar Rout observed that apparently, the fear of law enforcement agencies is missing among the culprits. The ineffectiveness is apparent, he said before adding that the minister in charge should not be blamed for it as was being done by the Opposition.
Mr Narasingha Mishra told reporters that the incidence or rape has assumed alarming proportions in Odisha. Recent cases are the rape of a 6 yr old in Salepur on 21 April whose condition is critical, a 10 yr old in Jajpur on 20 April, a 4 yr old in Kendrapara district on the same day and another four year old in Niligiri on 13 April, besides an eight-year-old at Soro on 15 April and a 8 yr old in Mayurbhanj district on 17 April, he said.
The OPCC in a statement said the leader of Opposition had raised a serious issue and the CM who is the home minister ought to have responded exhibiting his concern and sincerity in curbing the crime which he did not.
The BJD government has failed to protect the life and dignity of women and children and has lost its moral right to govern, charged the OPCC.