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Couple Attempts Self-immolation Outside Odisha Assembly, Ruckus in House as Oppn Targets BJD Govt

Image for representation

Image for representation

The couple from Nayagarh district said they have been denied justice in the abduction and killing of their five-year-old daughter, and alleged that the main accused in the case is a key aide of a minister from Nayagarh.

A man and his wife from Odisha's Nayagarh district attempted self-immolation outside the Assembly here on Tuesday, alleging that they have been denied justice in the alleged abduction and killing of their five-year-old daughter. The incident resonated in the assembly where opposition BJP and Congress came down heavily on the BJD government.

The incident took place during noon when the House was discussing the state's law and order. The victim girl's father has alleged that the main accused in the case is a key aide of a minister from Nayagarh, and the police was "bowing down to political pressure".

The couple, identified as Ashok Sahu and his wife Soudamini from Jadupur village in Nayagarh district, was however rescued by the security personnel deployed outside the assembly. Though the couple had poured kerosene oil of their bodies, they were prevented from lighting the matchstick by the security personnel.

Ashok alleged that his five-year-old daughter "Pari" was kidnapped while she was playing near home on July 10. Her body was later found in the backyard of the house with eyes gouged out and kidneys removed.

"Though we lodged a complaint with the Nayagarh Sadar police station, no action was taken. We found her body dumped in our backyard two weeks later," the distraught father said. "We had even named the accused at the grievance cell of the district Superintendent of Police and the Collector, but no action has been taken," Ashok stated.

He also alleged that the accused and his associates attacked them on October 26, as they refused to withdraw the complaint in connection with the case. "Although the police arrested 10 people for attacking us, it spared the main accused," he claimed.

The issue was raised in the House by Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Narasingha Mishra who demanded a statement from the government on the matter. Alleging breach of security, Mishra said the home minister should come out with a statement and inform the house as to how a couple could bring kerosene oil and reach near the Assembly building.

"Is it not a case of intelligence and police failure? Are we all in the house safe? What will happen if someone could reach the Assembly with a bomb/" Mishra asked. Senior Congress member S S Saluja wanted clarification from the government on the victim girl parents taking name of a Cabinet Minister, who allegedly provided protection to the main accused in the abduction and murder case.

Congress Whip Taraprasad Bahinipati said,"The couple came to the state capital after being denied justice in Nayagarh.Why police remained silent for more than three months to take action against the main accused." "The Chief Minister should take action against the minister who has been named by Paris parents," Bahinipati said.

Leader of Opposition PK Naik of BJP said as the family members of the victim have alleged that a ministers key persons were involved in the abduction and killing of the girl, "Let the Chief Minister, who is also the home minister, inform the house on the role of the minister in the abduction and killing of the kid." Responding to the opposition members demand, Speaker SN Patro asked Minister of State, Home, DS Mishra to make a statement in the house on the issues Wednesday.

first published:November 24, 2020, 19:43 IST