Daily Archives: April 6, 2013

Minor girls ‘raped, molested’ in Sambalpur orphanage

Police arrested a 40-year-old man on Wednesday for allegedly sexually abusing minor girls of an orphanage in Naxapali, on the outskirts of Sambalpur town. The accused, identified as Upendra Das of Samatipur ( Bihar), was in charge of running the orphanage and had raped two minor girls twice and molested two other girls during the past one month, police said.

The administration has closed down the orphanage and shifted the inmates to other orphanages. Police registered a case u/s 376 against the accused, who has been forwarded to judicial custody.

The incident has created sharp reaction among locals, who asked the administration to keep a vigilant eye on such institutions which are functioning in the district in the name of social service.

“We arrested the accused after receiving a complaint against him. We have sent the victims for medical examination. We have closed down the orphanage and accommodated the inmates in other orphanages with the help of the district administration,” said Sambalpur SP Nikhil Kanodia.

According to him, police raided the orphanage after receiving the information from a retired lady doctor of Sambalpur town, who visits the orphanage on a regular basis. “She informed me about the crimes on Tuesday and immediately I rushed to the orphanage to probe the allegation. The victim girls revealed they were sexually abused and molested by the accused,” the SP said. The victims are in the age group of eight to 12 years. “Two of the victims said the accused raped them twice. We are waiting for the medical report to confirm the allegation,” the SP said.

Sources said the orphanage was started by one Arati Das of Punjab in the name of Deepajyoti Anathanshram at Naxapali, 7 km from Sambalpur town, two-and-a-half years ago. Though the orphanage was not recognized by the welfare department of the government, it was being operated with the help of donation from local people. The orphanage housed 16 girls and four boys.

The accused claimed to be the husband of Arati Das. He said they were married 10 years ago during their stay in Punjab. “He claimed to be the husband of Arati Das, who has been missing since the past one month. We have started a manhunt for Arati,” said Dhanupali police station IIC P K Rout.

From recreation destination to haven of anti-socials

When the Ramsagar tank was renovated and developed into a boating club by the Sambalpur Municipality in July 2003, it was appreciated by one and all.

Developed from the MPLAD fund of the then Rajya Sabha member Sanatan Bisi at the initiative of then Collector Santosh Sarangi, the boating club emerged a major recreation destination within the town limits.

Having 15 paddle boats, the entry fee to the club was Rs 2 and a boat ride came for Rs 5 per head. Things went on smoothly for about five years.

But continuous apathy of the Municipality eventually took its toll on the club and what remains today is a stinking water tank filled with leaves of lotus flower and boats dumped both inside and outside the water.

It has become a safe haven for anti-social elements in absence of lighting and the embankment is used for open defecation. The Rs 25 lakh spent for development of the boating has flowed down the drain.

Although attempt was made by the last Chairperson of the Municipality Reena Trivedi to revive it and repair work of boundary wall and lighting was initiated, it had to be stopped after fellow councillors cried foul over the tender.

As the situation stands today, garbage is dumped all along the boundary of the tank spread over about 10 acres and more than anything else, cleaning the tank and the water has become important, at least to save the oldest traditional water harvesting structure of the town.

Chairperson of Sambalpur Municipality Kalpana Sahu said a fresh allotment of Rs 25 lakh has been received by the Municipality for development of a new boating club. Secretary of Department of Housing and Urban Development has been requested to accord sanction to spend the amount in the Ramsagar boating club to revive it.

Kidnapped youths rescued

Tension gripped Themra Chhak under Sadar police limits of the district after unidentified miscreants kidnapped two youths from the Chhak on Sunday after threatening the duo at gun point over sand mining. The abducted duo has been identified as Debashri Ranjan Dhar of Themra village and Jitendra Pradhan of Jainth village. The police rescued them from Ainthapali area of the town in the evening.

According to sources, the duo had been awarded by the Maneswar Tehasil to extract sand from the bed of Malti Joar near Gaudpali in Themra gram panchayat under Maneswar block and the kidnapping was reportedly done by their rival group. Reports said four persons came to the Themra Chhak in an MUV and opened fire in the air. Later, they pointed the gun towards the duo while they were sitting in a betel shop before kidnapping them at around 11.30 am.

Soon after the incidents, the residents resorted to road blockade demanding rescue of the duo and action against the miscreants who commited the crime. The impasse was over after police assured to rescue the youths. When Contacted, Sambalpur Sadar SDPO PK Mohapatra said that police have already rescued the youth .

The police have launched a manhunt to nab the miscreants who were involved in the kidnapping.

3 more culprits in connection with paper leak

The Crime Branch (CB) on Tuesday arrested three more persons in connection with the Plus II Physics question paper leak. The arrested are principal of Lambodar College of Science, Kalahandi, SarojMohanty, secretary of Chaitanya College of Education, Sundargarh, Rajendra Prasad Malla and chairman of Om MaaSaraswati Institute of Science and Technology, Rajgangpur, Akhaya Kumar Rath.

ADG (CB) Bijay Sharma said Debendra Behera, suspended deputy secretary of Council of Higher Secondary Education (CHSE) in Sambalpur, had entered into a deal with private colleges to provide them question papers for money. Speaking about the modus operandi, Sharma said Behera had designed two modules to charge the private colleges. He charged Rs 10,000 per student in some colleges while in some others, he charged Rs 1 lakh per question paper. However, Sharma refused to divulge the details of the financial transactions between Behera and staff of these three private colleges. “Investigation is still on and I cannot divulge all the details,” said Sharma.

Behera had provided Physics question papers to the colleges on March 6 on the eve of the examination. In order to avoid suspicion, handwritten question papers were delivered by hand to the private college authorities, the ADG said.

“Behera maintained adequate secrecy while sealing the deal. Neither fax nor mail was used to send the question papers. Behera ensured that the question paper was delivered to the college authorities by hand only,” said Sharma. Behera’s son was a student of Chaitanya College of Education, a private residential college located at Chikatmati in Sundargarh district. He had taken the Plus II examination this year. The CB officials suspect that some kind of favour might have been extended to this particular college by Behera.

The CB has not ruled out more arrests. “Investigation is still on and more arrests are likely to be made in the days to come,” said Sharma.

Earlier, the CB had arrested three persons, including Behera. The other two are chairman of Sandilya College of Science and Commerce in Sambalpur Kartik Barik and his associate Subas Barik. They had bought Physics question paper from Behera paying Rs 3 lakh and even the English question paper was dictated to them over phone.