Bhubaneswar: The National Commission for
Scheduled Castes (NCSC) on Monday demanded arrest of Pipili MLA
and former minister Pradip Maharathy accusing him of
harbouring the accused in the Pipili rape and attempt to
"Maharathy`s role in the entire episode should be
probed and legal proceedings initiated against him. He has
been accused of providing protection to the four accused
persons," NCSC chairman PL Punia told reporters here.
Maharathy, a ruling BJD leader who had resigned as
agriculture minister over the incident on January 19, however,
said, "I welcome Dr Punia`s investigation into the matter.
But, he needs to justify his claims."
"As a judicial inquiry is being conducted into the
matter, I will not like to comment more," Maharathy told PTI.
Punia, who earlier in the day visited SCB Medical
College Hospital in Cuttack and enquired about the condition
of the 19-year-old victim, alleged that the local MLA had
provided shelter to the four accused involved in the rape and
attempt to murder of the girl.
"According to our information, Maharathy had given
shelter to the four accused at his farm house at Pipili,"
Punia alleged and claimed the local police did not accept FIR
from the victim`s family due to pressure from him.
Stating that resigning from the ministry was not a
punishment for Maharathy, Punia said he should be booked for
"putting pressure on the police and doctors to suppress
Neither the doctors treated her well nor they conducted
medical examination on her even as the girl was found
unconscious and nude, Punia said.
Though the state government had ordered a judicial
probe into the incident and dismissed a police inspector of
Pipili police station, no action had been taken against the
doctors who neglected in performing their duties, he said.
"The local MLA, the then inspector-in-charge of Pipili
police station and doctors who neglected the victim need to be
booked under section 4 of the Prevention of Atrocity Act,"
Asserting that no one would be spared the Pipili
incident, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said: "The government
will certainly take action on the basis of the recommendations
made by the NCSC."
Alleging atrocities on dalits in the state, Punia said
while the Pipili girl was raped and an attempt to kill her was
made on November 29, upper caste Mehers set fire on houses of
dalits at Lathore village in Bolangir district on January 22
followed by arson in dalit house at Kamadhenukote in Dhenkanal
district on February 12.
He criticised the feudalistic attitude of the people
in certain areas of the state.
"Though dalits comprise over 16 per cent of Odisha`s
population, their representation in government service is less
than 10 per cent," Punia said.