Odisha: Hang the culprits, says killed teacher`s family

The 36-year-old Rayagada school teacher died in a Vishakhapatnam hospital on November 1 after a miscreant set her on fire on the night of October 27 when she was asleep in the school hostel.

PTI| Last Updated: Nov 06, 2013, 22:33 PM IST

Bhubaneswar: The family of the teacher who was burnt to death for not withdrawing a molestation case she filed against her senior on Wednesday demanded capital punishment for those involved in the killing.

Alleging that his daughter was harassed for raising her voice against sexual harassment, Balabhadra Pradhan, the nonagenarian father of the school teacher, said "My daughter`s soul will get peace only if the culprits are hanged."

My daughter would have been alive today had the police and local administration acted promptly and arrested Natrananda Dandsena (the prime accused and the teacher`s senior) immediately after she complained. The culprit was instead given protection both by the police and the administration for months," he said.

He said his daughter had knocked all doors including the state commission for women, human rights commission, district collector, superintendent of police and chief minister but none came to her rescue. Some of them even put pressure on her to withdraw the FIR instead of acting on it.

Her sister Birajini informed that before her death she had told her that Dandsena, against whom a case of molestation had been instituted, was getting protection from influential politicians.

“She (the teacher) had told me that Dandsena had also taken her photo while she was taking bath. When she lodged a complaint against him with the police, she was threatened by some goons and some policemen who asked her to withdraw the case?” Birajini said.

"They (the killers) succeeded in setting her on fire as the prime accused Netrananda Dandasena was not arrested till October 30 though a FIR was lodged against him on July 18, 2013," said Bikram, the teacher`s brother.

The 36-year-old Rayagada school teacher died in a Vishakhapatnam hospital on November 1 after a miscreant set her on fire on the night of October 27 when she was asleep in the school hostel.