Bhubaneswar: At least 3 minor girls were raped on an average daily in Odisha last year, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik told the legislative assembly a day after a six-year-old rape victim succumbed to her wounds in a Cuttack hospital.
Patnaik, who is also the state home minister, said as many as 1,283 cases related to the rape of minor girls were reported in 2017. The previous records showed that 1,204 minor girls were sexually abused in 2016 while 1,212 were reported the previous year. In 2014, the eastern Indian state reported 1,050 cases.
In other words, at least 4,749 minor girls were raped in Odisha between 2014 and 2017, the chief minister told the assembly on April 30.
Patnaik was replying to a question from Congress Chief Whip Taraprasad Bahinipati, who wanted to know the number of rape cases involving minor girls in the past four years.
Patnaik said the police arrested 4,462 people in connection with the rape of minor girls during the period.
Odisha police also registered 385 cases of gang-rape during 2014-2017. The police arrested 752 persons in connection with these rape cases, Patnaik stated, adding that the home department was collecting information on the persons punished for the crimes.
Patnaik also said that provisions have been made to give the capital punishment to culprits involved in the rape of minor girls below 12 years of age.
Earlier in the day, the chief minister said stringent action would be taken against the accused in the rape case of a minor girl in Salepur, who died in a Cuttack hospital on April 29, after battling for life for eight days.
“I will see to it that stringent action is taken against the accused,” he told the assembly and added that the government has already paid 500,000 rupees to the victim’s nearest relative.
The six-year-old girl was raped on April 21 and the accused was arrested within 24 hours, he said.
Expressing grief over the death Patnaik described the incident as ‘unfortunate’ and assured stern punishment to the accused.
The victim was provided proper treatment at SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack, he added.
Meanwhile, a fact-finding team of Congress including party senior leaders Shaikh Matlub Ali, Bijaylaxmi Sahoo and Sumitra Jena visited Salipur to meet the family members of the minor girl rape victim.
The girl died despite efforts by a 13-member team of doctors to save her. She was allegedly raped and rescued in an unconscious state from a school street in Salipur on April 22. Initially, she was rushed to a local Community Health Centre and was later shifted to cuttack after her condition deteriorated.
Salipur is some 30 km east of Cuttack, which is 25 km south of the state capital of Bhubaneswar.
Source: Matters India