Bhubaneswar: Amidst a statewide outcry
demanding his resignation from the council of ministers over
the alleged rape of a dalit girl at Pipili in Puri district,
Orissa`s Agriculture minister Pradeep Maharathy on Tuesday denied
charges against him.
"I have no link with the accused persons though the
incident took place in my assembly segment of Pipili,"
Maharathy said rejecting the allegations of harbouring the
criminals at his farm house.
Terming allegations against him as "false" and
"baseless", the Agriculture minister said that he came to know
about the alleged rape incident only from the media. "As I
came to know about the incident from media, how can I provide
them (criminals) shelter," the minister said.
Claiming that he was busy in election campaigning for
the ruling BJD candidate at Umarkote in Nabarangpur district
on the date of the alleged rape incident, the minister said
"I have not put any pressure on the police in this matter."
"Not in this case, I have never put pressure on the
police in any matter," he claimed adding that he had absolute
faith on the judiciary.
"I hope the Judicial Commission will unearth the truth
behind the incident. I also hope that the state`s criminal
investigation department, crime branch will catch the culprits
involved in the alleged rape incident," he added.
Prasanta Pradhan the prime accused and two other accused
Purna Chandra Swain and Premananda Nayak had so far been
arrested while one Abu Pradhan, was still at large.