Pipli gang-rape & murder acquittal verdict to be challenged in Odisha HC

Cuttack: After a huge political hue and cry over the acquittal of the accused in sensational Pipili gang-rape and murder case, the Crime Branch of Odisha Police, probe agency of the case, said it will move Orissa High Court challenging the judgement.

Addressing a press conference this afternoon, Crime Branch ADG Santosh Kumar Upadhyay told the probe agency will move HC challenging the Bhubaneswar Additional District Judge Court’s verdict on Monday.

He said all the relevant documents, after scrutinization as per the protocol, will be sent to the Director of Public Prosecution for necessary action in this regard and to appeal before the Orissa HC.

“The court in its judgement has mentioned that murder has been established but the involvement of the accused persons has not been established. We received the written arguments of the Public Prosecutor today and he has opined there are strong and valid grounds in the case to prefer appeal before a higher court,” said Upadhyay, claiming “the investigation was conducted properly.”

It may be recalled here that the Bhubaneswar ADJ Court, on December 27, had acquitted the prime accused Prashant Pradhan and his brother Sukant due to lack of evidence against them.

Also Read: ‘My daughter’s soul is crying’, says mother of Pipli gang-rape victim

Two other accused in the case — Guna Swain and Premenanda Nayak — are still under trial.

Notably, a 19-year-old Dalit girl of Arjungoda village under Pipli police limits of Puri district was found in a semi-nude and unconscious state near her house on November 29, 2011. Her family members had alleged gang rape and an attempt on her life. After spending more than four months in coma, the victim died at SCB Medical College and Hospital on June 21, 2012.

The incident soon snowballed into a major controversy, and also accounted for a Cabinet Minister losing his job, an IPS officer being shunted, and a police inspector being dismissed from service.

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