The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress on Thursday raised questions over the power of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed by the Odisha government to probe the murder of a five-year-old girl in Nayagarh district in July this year.
BJP’s Odisha in-charge Daggubati Purandeswari, who visited Jadupur village in Nayagarh district and met the parents of the deceased on Thursday, said the SIT headed by senior IPS officer Arun Bothra has no judicial powers.
“When the SIT and its chief have no judicial powers, how will they investigate the case? Taking this into consideration, we demand a CBI probe into the case," she said.
It is not only a matter of brutal murder of a minor girl, but there is also the involvement of an organ smuggling racket in the case, she said.
The state government had constituted the SIT headed by Bothra, who is also the CMD of Odisha State Road Transport Corporation (OSRTC), to probe the case.
Purandeswari also demanded resignation of state minister Arun Kumar Sahoo for allegedly shielding the accused.
“Minister Arun Kumar Sahoo, who is accused of shielding the accused, should resign. If he refuses to resign, the Chief Minister should sack him immideatedly," said the BJP leader.
Congress legislative party leader Narasingha Mishra also raised questions over the role and power of Bothra.
“Since IPS Bothra is the CMD of OSRTC, he does not have powers of the police. We demand that an officer having powers under Section 36 of CrPC should be present in the SIT and work impartially under the supervision of the Orissa High Court," said Mishra.
The minor girl had gone missing while playing near her house at Jadupur village on July 4 this year. Later, her skeletal remains stuffed in a gunny bag were traced to the backyard of her house.
The parents had on November 24 attempted self-immolation outside the Odisha Legislative Assembly demanding justice for their daughter and alleging that Arun Sahoo is shielding the accused.
Meanwhile, Ritarani Sahoo, inspector in-charge of Nayagarh Sadar police station, has been suspended.
Besides, Nayagarh sub-divisional police officer Niranjan Sahoo has been transferred and posted as Kandhamal DSP.