Bhubaneshwar: A Dalit girl who was allegedly raped in Pipli in Odisha will be shifted to AIIMS in New Delhi this week for better treatment. The girl was raped by a man in her village in November 2011. She has been in a coma ever since.
Earlier in the day, the Odisha government ordered a judicial probe into the episode to identify the persons responsible for the incident.
"Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has ordered a judicial probe into the alleged rape and harassment of a Dalit girl in Pipili area of Puri district," Chief secretary BK Patnaik told reporters.
The panel is headed by retired High Court judge Justice PK Mohanty and is expected to submit its report in 3 months.
The role of the police in discharging its duty is also under the scanner.
The government had suspended Pipili police station in-charge Anil Champatiray after it was found that the officer concerned did not register a case a day after the alleged rape on November 28, 2011.
The police registered the case only on January 9, 2012 after the Orissa High Court and State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) intervened in the matter.
The HC had on Wednesday directed the state crime branch police to arrest all the four accused named in the FIR, investigate the matter and submit a status report of the case to it on January 16, besides ordering the government to provide her free treatment and protection.
Champatiray was two days ago transferred from Pipili to Puri police reserve, an action dubbed by women organisations as a 'soft attitude' against the erring police officer.
Agriculture Minister Pradip Maharathy, who had come under attack over the incident with the girl's family and women bodies accusing him of shielding the culprits, however, welcomed the judicial probe ordered into the matter.
"Me and the people of Pipili are relaxed over the judicial probe order," Maharathy said. Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC), however, termed the judicial probe as an "eye wash". "It is aimed at protecting those in government without providing any concrete result," OPCC President Niranjan Patnaik told reporters.
Opposition Congress and BJP, women organisations, Dalit and tribal bodies had demanded CBI or judicial probe into the alleged rape as the girl in coma struggles for survival at the ICU of SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack.
Earlier, the government had handed over the investigation in the case to Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the crime branch, which started its probe two days ago.
Apart from the Pipili rape case, two other rape cases rocked Odisha recently. A 19-year-old college girl was allegedly raped and killed in Bhadrak earlier this week though the police maintained that it was a case of suicide.
On Wednesday, another 19-year-old college girl met the same fate in the Sundergarh district.
With additional information from PTI