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Odisha high court forms SIT to investigate probe into Kunduli ‘rape’ case

CUTTACK: The Odisha high court on Monday constituted a three-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) to look into the investigation conducted by the state CID (crime branch) into the alleged Kunduli rape
of 2017.

While forming the SIT, the high court refused to order a CBI probe into the case. It said the SIT would comprise the three DIGPs of South Western Range Koraput, Southern Range (Berhampur) and Northern Range (Sambalpur).

The high court was hearing two separate PILs — filed by former Lok Sabha MP Kharavela Swain and the ‘victim’ girl’s mother – seeking a CBI probe. Both PILs raised doubts over the investigation by the crime branch. “The division bench of chief justice KS Jhaveri and justice KR Mohapatra posted the monitoring of the SIT inquiry to December 16,” the mother’s counsel Sebati Soren said. “The high court formed the SIT after the state government informed the court on Monday that the crime branch had closed the investigation into the case and submitted a report in the trial court,” Soren added. The formation of an SIT comes three months after the state government tabled in the assembly the report of the judicial commission that probed the alleged gang rape. The judicial commission, in its report, said the incident was a mystery and suggested further investigation. The one-man commission of Koraput district and sessions judge BK Mishra could not confirm if the girl was raped, or the reason behind her alleged act of suicide before the completion of the investigation. The girl had claimed that she had been raped by four uniformed personnel near Sorisapadar jungle in Koraput on October 10, 2017.

A Class IX student of a government welfare school under Patangi police station limits, she had gone to Kunduli for some work when the crime allegedly took place. The state government had ordered a judicial probe into the incident on December 26, 2017. The girl allegedly committed suicide on January 22. The commission submitted its 141-page report on September 20, 2018, but it was tabled in the assembly on August 3. The panel’s report ‘did not rule out possibility of false implication in the case because of the fact of personal transgression and avoidance of further embarrassment of a situation best known to the deceased victim’.

The cause of the ‘false accusations and suicide’ is a mystery before the commission and would remain so unless unearthed by making further probe in that regard, it said. The victim’s identity has not been revealed to protect her privacy as per Supreme court directives on cases related to sexual assault

Firing in Brajrajnagar

ବ୍ରଜରାଜନଗରରେ ମଙ୍ଗଳବାର ରାତି ସାଢ଼େ ୮ଟାରେ ପୁଣି ଥରେ ଗୁଳି ଫୁଟିଛି। ଏଥିରେ ମଣ୍ଟୁ ଘୋଷ(୩୦) ନାମରେ ଜଣେ ଯୁବକଙ୍କ ମୃତ୍ୟୁ ଘଟିଛି। ବ୍ରଜରାଜନଗର ମୁଖ୍ୟ ବଜାରରେ ଥିବା ଏକ ଜଳଖିଆ ଦୋକାନ ଲକ୍ଷ୍ମୀ କ୍ୟାବରେ ଏହି ଗୁଳିକାଣ୍ଡ ଘଟିଛି।

ଜଳଖିଆ ଦୋକାନର କାଉଣ୍ଟରରେ ଛିଡ଼ା ହୋଇଥିବା ବେଳେ ଏହି ଗୁଳିକାଣ୍ଡ ଘଟିଥିବା କୁହାଯାଉଛି। ଦୁଇ ରାଉଣ୍ଡ ଗୁଳି ଚାଳନା ହୋଇଥିବା ଲୋକେ କହୁଥିବା ବେଳେ ଘଟଣାସ୍ଥଳରେ ଗୋଟିଏ ଖୋକା ପଡ଼ିଥିବା ଦେଖା ଯାଇଛି। ମଣ୍ଟୁର ମୁଣ୍ଡରେ ଗୁଳି ବାଜିବା ପରେ ସେ ତଳେ ପଡ଼ି ଯାଇଥିଲା। ଦୁଇ ଜଣ ଯୁବକ ଏକ ବାଇକରେ ଆସି ଗୁଳି ମାରି ଫେରାର ହୋଇ ଯାଇଥିବା ପ୍ରତ୍ୟକ୍ଷଦର୍ଶୀ କହୁଛନ୍ତି। ଗୁଳିକାଣ୍ଡ ସମୟରେ ହୋଟେଲ ମାଲିକ ହୋଟେଲ ଭିତରକୁ ଯାଇଥିଲେ।

ଗୁଳିକାଣ୍ଡରେ ମୃତ ମଣ୍ଟୁ ହେଉଛି ବହୁ ଚର୍ଚ୍ଚିତ ଅମିତ ଧଳ ହତ୍ୟାକାଣ୍ଡରେ ସଂପୃକ୍ତ ସୋନୁ ଘୋଷର ଭାଇ। ସୋନୁ ଘୋଷ ଏବେ ଜେଲରେ ଅଛି। ଘଟଣାସ୍ଥଳରେ ପୁଲିସ ପହଞ୍ଚି ତଦନ୍ତ ଆରମ୍ଭ କରିଛି। ହୋଟେଲରେ ଲାଗିଥିବା ସିସି ଟିଭିକୁ ପୁଲିସ ଜବତ କରି ତଦନ୍ତ କରୁଥିବା ବେଳେ ଏହି ହତ୍ୟାକାଣ୍ଡ ସହିତ ମାଫିଆଙ୍କ ସଂପୃକ୍ତି ଥିବା କୁହାଯାଉଛି।

Early Morning Encounter in Sambalpur

Early morning in kuluthkani-Dhankauda Road, Encounter of notorious criminal Tridev Bag by a joint operation by Dhanupali Police and a special squad. Police also nabbed two of his associates at the same time, police found one minor from them.

Earlier 2-3 days back in this kuluthkani Dhankauda Road, two men snatched a gold chain from a lady and ran in a motorcycle.

Injured Criminal Tridev Bag

The team had received input from reliable sources that the criminals were planning to rob the area near Kuluthkani -Dhankauda Road. Police party undertook multiple raids to nab the criminals. Upon spotting the cops, Tridev Bagh and his associates fired a round at the police party. Police party retaliated appropriately and fired 1 round in a controlled and restricted manner.

Bagh sustained bullet injuries in his left leg during the encounter, and was admitted to Sadar Hospital here. His associates Deepak Mandal, 30, and one Juvenile aged about 17 years were apprehended.

A constable suffered minor injuries in the operation and was given adequate treatment.

Police party seized one country made Pistol, two live rounds, one fired case, three mobile phones, Rs 30000 cash, one toy pistol, one Motor cycle and 3 Gold Chains.

Bag, 25, has more than eight criminal cases pending against him across several Police station in the district.

 

Odisha braces for flood as Hirakud dam readies to discharge floodwater

Officials in Bargarh have asked all educational institutions in the district to remain closed on Wednesday in view of heavy rainfall and flood threat.

The flood warning came as Indian Meteorological Department on Tuesday sounded a red alert for the districts of Sundargarh, Bolangir, Kalahandi, Boudh, Sonepur, Nuapada and Jharsuguda predicting extremely heavy rains.

At least 13 Odisha districts, including several coastal ones, on the banks of the River Mahanadi and its distributaries, are bracing for a flood from Thursday with Hirakud reservoir all set to release its overflowing waters, officials said on Wednesday.

Special relief commissioner Bishnupada Sethi said due to the heavy rainfall in the lower catchments of the Mahanadi as well as the opening of the gates of Hirakud in Sambalpur on Wednesday, about 11.5 lakh cusec of floodwater is likely to be discharged at Mundali from Thursday morning.

पश्चिम ओडिशा के प्राणकेंद्र संबलपुर में सैकड़ों करोड़ की लागत के विकासकार्य की पोल तब खुल जाती है। जब मूसलाधार बारिश होती है ।

“This is likely to cause a medium flood in river Mahanadi and its distributaries. We have deployed 12 ODRAF teams and three NDRF teams in the likely affected districts for rescue and evacuation operations,” Sethi said.

“Besides fire service teams in respective districts will be deployed. Special care must be taken to shift the old, infirm, physically challenged, women and children to safe shelters well in advance,” he added.

Officials in Bargarh have asked all educational institutions in the district to remain closed on Wednesday in view of heavy rainfall and flood threat.

The flood warning came as Indian Meteorological Department on Tuesday sounded a red alert for the districts of Sundargarh, Bolangir, Kalahandi, Boudh, Sonepur, Nuapada and Jharsuguda predicting extremely heavy rains. IMD said the low-pressure area over northwest Bay of Bengal was likely to become more marked during the next 48 hours.

The situation in at least five western and central districts of the state remained grim with chief minister Naveen Patnaik announcing gratuitous relief of seven days for the flood-affected people.

Patnaik, who reviewed the situation in Balangir, Kalahandi, Boudh, Sonepur and Kandhamal districts, directed officials that relief worth Rs 60 per adult per day and Rs 45 per child per day be provided in the affected areas.

In the districts of Bolangir, Sonepur and Kalahandi, the flood situation did not improve much despite a let-up in the rain.

In Bolangir town, schools, hospitals, residential buildings, and government offices were inundated by rainwater as over 216 mm rainfall was recorded between Monday and Tuesday morning. More than 90% of Bolangir town has been inundated.

In Binka area of Sonepur, floodwater washed away five houses after gushing into Mahulapali village.

पश्चिम ओडिशा के प्राणकेंद्र संबलपुर में सैकड़ों करोड़ की लागत के विकासकार्य की पोल तब खुल जाती है। जब मूसलाधार बारिश होती है।

‘Historic, unprecedented’, Rahul Gandhi reacts to PM Modi’s first press conference

Reacting to PM Modi’s press conference, Rahul Gandhi said, “Very good. PM’s first conference comes two-three days before the election ends.”

As the last day of campaigning came to an end, the political parties wrapped up their poll campaigns and made a last effort to communicate with the people. While PM Modi addressed his first ever Press Conference, Congress President Rahul Gandhi too talked to the media.

Addressing the media Rahul Gandhi wittily remarked on the PM conducting the first conference. Rahul Gandhi said that it is ‘historic’ that PM Modi is conducting a press conference. He further took a jibe at the PM saying that it is unprecedented for a PM to conduct a press conference sitting besides party president. “Very good. PM’s first conference comes two-three days before the election ends,” Gandhi commented.

He also asked why PM Modi has not accepted his challenge of debate on the issue of Rafale. “While the Prime Minister is conducting a press conference, I want to ask him why hasn’t he accepted my challenge to debate on the issue of corruption in Rafale deal. Why were you scared of me?” Gandhi asked.

Reacting to PM Modi’s remarks on Pragya Thakur, Gandhi said that PM Modi’s ideology is of violence and it was never aligned with Gandhi ji’s ideology. Rahul Gandhi also came down heavily on Election Commission. He said that the Election Commission’s role has remained biased in this election. He said, “PM modi can say whatever he wants to say but others are stopped for it.” Rahul Gandhi alleged that EC made the entire schedule to help PM Modi.

Rahul Gandhi also mocked PM Modi’s cloud theory. PM Modi in an interview to a TV channel had said that he had suggested the experts during balakot airstrike that bad weather and clouds can help escape the radar. His comments created a lot of hysteria.

Talking about Congress’ role as the opposition party in the last 5 years, he said that the party has played an A grade role as opposition. On the question of whether Rahul Gandhi will become a PM or not, he said, “I am not going to disrespect the people of India by judging what they are going to decide.”