Odisha shutdown over gang rape affects normal life
Bhubaneswar: Normal life came to a standstill in several parts of Odisha on Wednesday as the Congress and the BJP observed a state-wide dawn-to-dusk shutdown over the suicide of a gang-rape victim.
While buses, auto-rickshaws and other vehicles stayed off roads, many trains like Bengaluru-Tinsukia Superfast Express, Sambalpur-Puri and Sambalpur-Rayagada Intercity Express trains were halted by the protesters who are demanding a CBI probe into the alleged gang rape of the minor girl by security personnel.
Many passengers were stranded at different railway stations and bus stations whereas many shops and business establishments remained closed.
Workers of the two parties staged road blockades at various junctions and also resorted to picketing several offices.
Following the bandh call, the government had declared to close down schools and colleges.
Maoists also extended their support to the shutdown.
The protesters are demanded a CBI probe and adequate compensation for the kin of the victim, who committed suicide by hanging herself at her house in Koraput district's Sorisapadar village on Monday.
"Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who is also Home Minister, should resign on moral ground for failing to provide justice to the minor girl. The culprits should also be arrested," said Pradesh Congress Committee President Prasad Harichandan.
Bharatiya Janata Party General Secretary Prithviraj Harichandan said the state government is responsible for the suicide of the girl and that a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe can unearth the truth behind the case.
The Class 9 student was allegedly gang-raped by a group of security personnel on October 10 last year. The police were in denial mode that she was raped at all.
Reacting to the shutdown, Biju Janata Dal spokesperson Pratap Deb said the opposition parties are politicising the issue.
"The state government has entrusted the matter for judicial probe. Besides, the crime branch is investigating the issue. But the opposition parties are politicising it," said Deb.