THE PIPILI SIN: A SCENE FOR ORISSA TO BE ASHAMED OF ITS GOVERNMENT

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The Pipili gang-rape victim’s cremation gave birth to such a scene that every genuine Oriya should have liked not to have seen.

Orissa has a government that hijacked the Ambulance the victim’s father was using to take her body for funeral at Ghatikia after receiving the same from SCB Medical College, Cuttack; and, arbitrarily halted the cremation for long 51 hours till it totally decomposed.

Perpetrators of the crime being members/supporters of the ruling party, the police was used to suppress the FIR and the medical system was used to make out a case of snake bite in order to protect the criminals. As media exposed the felony, the minister, who represents the Pipili constituency, had tried to intimidate the reporters. This is why the Media Unity for Freedom of Press (MUFP) had to intervene. In its attempt to protect the journalists from the ire of the minister, MUFP involved the general public in expression of solidarity with the media persons of Pipili. This eventually gave birth to Orissa Gana Samaja (OGS), where political parties thought it prudent to unite sans their flags in demanding justice for the victim of the gang rape.

The government, then, had no other way than taking the victim to its own care and providing free advanced treatment at SCB Medical College, Cuttack.

Therefore, since the day her charge was taken over by the government, she was, alive or dead, absolutely official. It was the responsibility of the government to treat her dead body officially. The government should have decided where and how to cremate her and in that, only accommodated her family members in witnessing the cremation and performing the rituals. So, instead of handing over the body to her family, the Medical College should have handed it over to the government. Government did not take over the body from the Medical College. As result of this, the father of the child had taken over the corpse for cremation.

It is shocking that, thereafter, when the corpse, as received from the Hospital, was being carried for cremation in an ambulance, the police planted its men in the same Ambulance, who, at Rasulgarh, threw out the family members accompanying the corpse and instead of allowing the Ambulance proceed for Ghatikia as desired by the father of the victim for her cremation in presence of relations present in that village, forced its driver to proceed towards Puri. As hundreds of onlookers at Rasulgarh watched it, they tried to foil the carjack by the police itself; but they were subjected to brutal beating by a police force summoned to the spot. It was incumbent upon the government to cremate the body of the victim with due dignity; but it failed. This shows how irresponsible, incompetent and confused the government is.

The irresponsibility, incompetency and confusion of the government is squarely established by the very fact that the dead body of the Dalit girl could not be given obituary respect in her own village as her family was not allowed by the caste hindus, the collaborators of the rapists and the mafia ruling the roost there to perform her last rites, even in presence of the police and the magistrates and the men who matter in administration.

Nothing can be more shameful for the people of the State than the fact that, the State could not dare to ensure cremation of the victimized child by her family members in terms of its tradition in their own village, because, failure of administration to keep under leash the hounds that tortured her to death, was too alarming for them to perform the last rites in their place of birth.

That, the government failed to have the cremation in the birthplace of Babina, the victim, has established that law is not working in Pipili and administration has no control over the area.

It has become a free land for fellows in or close to power to rape any girl of the locality, to attempt to murder her post-rape, to use police and medical officers to arrange death of the victim in medical environment so that the curpus delicti would be of no active witness utility, to keep the family of the victim under constant alarming intimidation so as to deter it from taking appropriate legal action, to purchase the silence of the victim’s relations through posthumous release of massive amount of money from the state exchequer in the style of the ruling chief minister’s help, to use a section of obliging media and village touts and vested-interest politicians to demoralize the civil-society activists through cultivated insinuations even while managing the prosecution to weaken the case by eliminating/ignoring material evidences.

Every Oriya should feel ashamed of having such a chief minister, such a government, such a network of crime and such a situation.

Fanatical Face of Pipili: Rape is Our Prerogative; Action Against That is Not Yours

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Orissa Gana Samaj that stresses on CBI inquiry into Pipili gang-rape, is facing police action, as the local police station – ill-famed for having given protection to the rapists – has entertained a FIR against its leaders, alleging, because of them, the rape having attracted national attention, face of Pipili has been blackened.

Pipili Assembly Constituency is in strong grip of ruling party BJD. No official here is expected to act independent of BJD influence.

Here, in the village Arjungoda, on 29 November 2011, a Dalit girl was found lying like a dead body in a paddy field abandoned by perpetrators of gang-rape who had tried to murder her after raping, as her living was dangerous to them, she being the only eye witness to a 2008 rape-cum-murder they had committed; and, assuming that she was dead, they had left her motionless body to be eaten away by scavengers.

But a villager stumbled upon the poor child in that pathetic condition and notified her family.

The shocked family took her to Pipili Hospital for immediate medical intervention and informed the police. None of them came to her rescue.

The girl was then taken to the Capital Hospital at Bhubaneswar, which not only blatantly neglected her, but also to eliminate the angle of rape, probably under political pressure, tried to make out a case of snake bite.

The girl, due to willful wrong treatment, went from senselessness to coma and her reference even to the SCB Medical College failed to fetch any proper medical attention; as if revival of her sense was not in the agenda of the government doctors.

She was discharged from the medical college without any medico-legal investigation even though her family had apprised the medical officer of the gang-rape and attempted murder.

As she was thus left without medical care, in the lap of slow death, in a condition of no attention from the State as police was not taking cognizance of rape and attempted murder, the local media took up the matter.

Surprisingly, the loudmouth bigwig of BJD, Minister (as he then was) Pradip Maharathi, representing Pipili in the Assembly, till then silent, woke up to intimidate the Press for reports of the rape!

The minister’s such unexpected attack on the media made the watchdog of journalistic interest, the Media Unity for Freedom of Press (MUFP) take up the issue and eventually, under its initiative, for the first time in the post-independence history of Orissa, politicians sans their party flags got united with the civil society against the government’s design to suppress this felony, which gave birth to the Orissa Gana Samaj (OGS), with representatives of MUFP – Prasanta Patnaik and Rabi Das – as its joint conveners.

The loudmouth minister had to resign from the cabinet; the Government had to readmit the victim in the medical college afresh and to arrange for her treatment under inspection and instructions from super-specialists and medical scientists from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi; and other official organs had to get activated. The Home department had to initiate action against the police inspector who had protected the rapists and the alleged rapists were arrested, notwithstanding howsoever farcical that was.

Had the OGS not taken up the matter, the victim could never have got government attention and the possibility of prosecution against the rapists could never even have developed.

So, the ruling party, its loudmouth leader who was forced to resign in the gang-rape context, its local hoodlums to which segment the alleged rapists belong, are acrimoniously angry upon the OGS.

Now as a FIR has been filed against the representatives of OGS by a man who claims that by exposing the gang-rape, they have embarrassed Pipili in the eyes of the nation, one is inclined to accept that there are elements in Pipili to whom raping a woman is not a crime against the land, but exposing the crime is a crime. This throws light on the liking of the party that rules over Orissa, specifically when such a mischievous FIR has been entertained by the police.

Prasanta Patnaik, Convener of OGS, has demanded that the matter in its entirety be handed over to CBI for an in-depth investigation, as the State Police seems to be in habitual nexus with the criminals.

OGS Suspects Threat to the Life of Pipili Gang-rape Victim: Demands Immediate Arrest of Ex-Agriculture Minister and Officials Trying to Protect the Culprits; Stands with the Brother of the Victim for CBI Investigation

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Orissa Gana Samaj, initiated by Media Unity for Freedom of Press (MUFP) as the then Agriculture Minister hailing from Pipili had threatened media persons with dire consequences for reporting on Pipili gang-rape, has in a statement, expressed deep anguish over stage managed reports produced by the Crime Branch of Orissa Police shrewdly coined to end the case as clueless and has underlined its suspicion that there is severe threat to life of the rape victim as thereby the most material corpus delicti would be removed for the benefit of the accused persons.

The OGS has demanded that round the clock strongest possible protection be immediately given to the victim improving in coma condition and that, the demand of the brother of the victim for handing over the case to CBI be immediately accepted in order not to derail justice in the agonizing case.

The statement is in Oriya. Please click here to peruse it.

CBI PROBE INTO PIPILI GANG RAPE A MUST NECESSITY: UTKAL MAHILA SAMITY

A delegation from Utkal Mahila Samiti, the premier women organization of the State affiliated to National Federation of Indian Women, has submitted a five-point memorandum to the Chief Minister emphasizing that CBI probe into the Pipili gang rape as well as other incidents of rape is a must necessity, which his government should not shy at.

The demands included C.B.I. probe into the Pipili gang rape incident
to punish all the connected criminals and officials that tried to hush up the case.

The delegate has stressed on saving the life of the victim and giving her justice by taking exemplary action against the police officers who have neglected their duties in her respect and rehabilitation of all the rape victims coming to light in Orissa.

The delegation  included President of the Samity Basanti Sahu, Secretary Sandhya Mohapatra, Chandra Prava Patnaik, Prava Rani Acharya, Puspakanti Mohanty, Pratima Mohapatra, Basanti Mishra, Kabita Manjari Puhan, Rashmi Rekha Patnaik, Bishnu Priya Acharya, Saubhagini Nayak, Krushnapriya Mishra, Kabita Dash, Karisma Swain, Subhasmita Jena and Subhashree Swain.

Pipili Felony: Agriculture Minister Resigns as Chief Minister is Eager to Save Skin

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Agriculture Minister Pradip Maharathi has finally resigned from the Council of Ministers.

In Pipili gang rape case, he had tried to intimidate the Press when his name was mentioned in reports reflecting the version of the brother of the rape victim. In reaction thereto, the whole of the State perishing under misrule, barring the ruling party beneficiaries, had stood solidly with the media giving birth to Orissa Gana Samaj where all non-BJD political parties, without using party flags, were one with media persons, women organizations, students, youth and NGOs in condemning the crime and demanding immediate resignation of Maharathi to whom needle of suspicion as the protector of the criminals was strongly pointing.

Maharathi has resigned on moral ground.

But to the opposition parties, this is a drama enacted as the Chief Minister is eager to save his skin as the Home Minister. The Government needs be dismissed for having collaborated with the crime so far, they say.

ORISSA GANA SAMAJ APPEAL TO PARTICIPATE IN PROTEST MARCH AND DHARANA ON 16TH JANUARY, 2012.

Orissa Gana Samaj, a combine of media persons, creative thinkers, social activists, students and youth bigwigs, women organizations,writers and patriotic politicians of Orissa has resolved to raise voice against blatant misrule, distinctly defined in Pipili gang rape case in the context of the irresponsible police response and minister’s reaction thereto, through a protest march on 16 January, to begin with.

We post here below its appeal:

Dear Sir/Madam,

You might be aware about the unfortunate incident of gang rape in Pipili in which one of the victim committed suicide and the other victim is fighting for survival in the Central ICU of S.C.B. Medical College Hospital, Cuttack.

A team comprising of leaders of all non-BJD political parties, social activists, women organisations, media persons, advocates visited the hospital today and discussed with the authorities of the College Hospital about the treatment of the victim. They urged upon the Doctors to ensure that the victim gets best of treatment and care so that she can survive .

To protest against the inhuman atrocity on the victims of Pipili , and rising cases of rape and murders of in different places of the State , and callousness of the Government, we are organising a protest rally to be followed by dharana on Monday, the 16th January, 2012.

PROTEST MARCH:

The rally will start from Jaya Prakash Narayan Park ( Master Canteen ) at 10 a.m. and will go upto Raj Bhavan via Raj Mahal square.

DHARANA:

After reaching Raj Bhavan, we will have a sit-on demonstration till 4 p.m.

We appeal to all citizens , irrespective of political affiliations, intellectuals, workers organisations, lawyers ,writers, artists, actors, women organisations etc. to join this protest march and express solidarity with the victim’s family.

Prasanta Patnaik,
Rabi Das,
Joint Convenors.

No Confidence in the Crime Branch, Mr. Chief Minister?

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

In appointing a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to probe into the Pipili gang-rape case, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has indicated that he too has no faith in the Crime Branch of the State. Sad.

People are rejecting the Judicial Commission as such judicial commissions are of no use in timely dispensation of justice inasmuch as prosecutions will have to wait till the Government accepts its report and approves its recommendations, which may take a decade.

This nasty administrative game needs no elaboration, as, more than a dozen of Judicial Commissions appointed to probe into felonies committed during Naveen Patnaik’s incumbency are not yet able to arrive at their final findings.

When they conclude their investigations, they shall submit their answers to issues fixed by the Government to the Government under the Commission of Inquiries Act and then the Government, taking time as it likes, will decide on acceptability of the recommendations and then only, if recommendations are for prosecution against persons found responsible for the crime concerned, prosecution shall start. And, the case shall enter into a labyrinth of litigations, which the person or persons affected by the crime can seldom tackle to obtain justice.

So, Judicial Commissions of Inquiry are safe havens for the criminals.

Naveen Patnaik has provided such a haven to executants of the felony at Pipili.

Hence, the only alternative available, is a CBI inquiry. Orissa’s greatest watchdog of freedom of press, the Media Unity for Freedom of Press (MUFP) is spearheading the demand for such an inquiry.

Come Monday – 16 January – Bhubaneswar, the citadel of the rulers, will see political luminaries, social activists, students leaders, youth bigwigs, cultural celebrities together with the media persons in a very unique solidarity march against the State Government shying at the proposal for inquiry by CBI while its Minister from Pipili has been trying to intimidate the Press for having focused on the felony.

I maintain that it would have been the best had the primacy of Crime Branch in investigation into and initiation of penal prosecution against the Pipili crime not been crippled by the State Government. It is sad that the Police is tolerating this deathblow from the Chief Minister on credibility of its star sector, the Crime Branch. The Police top-brass’s ‘Yes Boss’ habit is making the gravest casualty of the crime investigation machinery. It is not yet defined, but discernible to alert eyes that the State Police is feeling suffocated by annihilation of credibility of the Crime Branch by a Chief Minister of no political will.

It would be better for Naveen to read the writings on the wall.