Woman Panchayat Representative sexually assaulted, manhandled and mercilessly beaten up by goons in Kendrapara district of Odisha
Civil Society Groups are up in arms against the Govt. and hold protest meeting in Bhubaneswar demanding Crime Branch enquiry into police inaction and stern action against the culprits. CSOs have chalked out road map for massive campaign to force the Govt. to give justice to the victim.
Miss Banajini Parida, Mahila Sarapanch , Ghagra Gram Panchayat of Kendrapara district is a young and fresh graduate elected Panchayat representative in the district. She is very dynamic and committed Sarapanch in the district. Since joining as sarapanch, she had been implementing all development work in a most transparent manner and trying hard to check corruption in Panchayat. Her commitment to strengthen Panchayat system invited wrath of the vested interest who conspired to sabotage her work. The direct threa to her life came from Sri Narayan Parida (Panchayat Samiti Member of that GP) when she was conducting Pally Sabha & Gram Sabha meeting in the month of October 2012. Sri Parida threatened her to resign from the post of Sarapanch in the meeting. Banajini reported it in the local police station and sought for protection. Without giving protection to her, Nikirei Police filed false cases against her and her father. On 25.12.12, when she was alone in home, Sri Narayan Parida S/O Baishnab Parida along with miscreants rushed to her room at 8 am and sexually assaulted her, scraped the dress and brutally attacked with iron rod. The villagers rescued her. She was found suffering from serious injury and was taken to the hospital. When she was battling for life, a case was filed in Nikirei police station against her at 11.54 am. The Inspector, In-Charge Manasi Patra filed false FIR against Banajini parida, 15 Sarapanch , 9 samiti member , 2 Zilla Parishad , Chairman, Panchayat Samiti and tried to arrest them. The charges lodged against them are under section: 452, 354, 323, 325, 294, 506, 34 of IPC. However, in her pursuit to get justice, she approached S.D.P.O, Pattamundali and SP of Kendra district, but in vain. They remained silence without taking any action against the culprits.
Then, finding no justice, Banajini along with all sarapanch approached DG, Police demanding action against the culprits. The Sarapanch sangh also met Home Secretary, Govt. of Odisha and Governor on 24.1.13 and appraised him about the merciless attack on woman Sarapanch. But all their efforts ended in fiasco.
Presently, Banajini is sitting on hunger strike in Bhubaneswar demanding justice since last five days. . On 26.1.13, Civil society Groups and Human Rights Activists had organized protest meeting demanding immediate arrest of the culprits. The meeting presided over by Sri Sudarshan Das, was addressed by Sri Rabi Das, senior journalist, Sri Rama Panda, CPI, Sri Suresh Panigrahi, CPIM, Sri Mahendra Parida, CPI(Liberation), Mr. Pradip Pradhan, State Convener, Right to Food Campaign, Odisha, Sri Manoj Jena, Human Rights Front, Sri Gopal Mohanty, Smt. Bijayalaxmi Mohapatra, Mamata Samantaray, State Progressive Women Forum, Sri Bhavani Pattnaik, former MP and Gandhian leader, Smt. Sarojini Parida, Sri lalit pattnaik, Odisha Nagarik samaj and galaxy of Sarapanch and Samiti Members of that region. In the meeting, it was resolved that Mass Dharana will continue against the Govt. till the culprits are arrested. Banajini was requested to withdraw the hunger strike . She agreed and withdrew the strike by taking juice from Bhavani Pattnaik. Other decisions unanimously taken are as follows
a. False cases lodged against sarapanch and Samiti Members should be withdrawn
b. All culprits should be arrested.
c. The Inspector In-charge should be suspended and SP to be removed from the district.
d. Mass Rally will be organized on 28.1.13 at lower PMG demanding justice for Banajini.
e. The State Govt. should undertake crime branch enquiry into the whole matter and take action against the culprits found guilty.
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