Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
The Media Unity for Freedom of Press (MUFP), in its principled fight to protect freedom of press from nefarious design of the Minister hailing from Pipili where gang rape of a dalit girl by politically pampered crooks has driven her into coma, has earned unreserved support from patriotic persons of Orissa active in politico-social spectrum in the State.
A protest rally, from which the ruling party stayed away although the Pipili felony is too serious for politicians with concern for the people to stay away, despite obstructions created on its way by the police, gave the Governor a memorandum in absentia against the administration siding with the rapists.
The MUFP initiative has given birth to Orissa Gana Samaj under which banner the rally was organized on 16 January 2012. After the rally, it reviewed the outcome of the peaceful demonstration participated by nine opposition political parties, social activists, poets, artists, lawyers, intellectuals, women organizations, youth organization etc. in protest against the Pipili Gang Rape.
Representatives of Congress, BJP, CPI, CPI (M), CPI (ML) Liberation, CPI (ML), Forward Block, Samajbadi Party , Odisha Nagaraik Samaj, Chasimulaia Adivasi Sangh,Save Odisha Forum, CITU, Basti Surakhya Manch attended the review meeting and expressed their satisfaction over success of today’s protest march and congratulated all for the success of the historic rally in which members of all opposition parties had participated.
The review meeting resolved that Prasanta Patnaik and Rabi Das, the joint
conveners of the Gana Samaj would brief the media about the various programs of the Samaj .
It was decided to send a team on behalf of the Gana Samaja to the village of the rape victim to meet her family members and extend support to them.
The meeting also resolved to organize demonstrations in Cuttack on 21st January, in Sambalpur on 24th January and in Berhampur on 27th to protest against the Pipili gang rape incident.
It was also decided to appeal all political parties and civil society organizations to organize dharana and hunger strike all over the State near statues of Mahatma Gandhi on 30th January ,2012.
It was further resolved to press upon the Orissa Government to immediately implement the Supreme Court Guidelines on Section 3 and 4 of the S.C.S.T. Act. 1989.
Earlier, at 10.30 the protest rally had started from the Station Square as per its announced program.
For the first time in the history of Orissa political luminaries from all non-BJD parties had joined the rally without party flags, the Media Unity for Freedom of Press (MUFP) being the originator of the current protest.
The Government fidgeting in fear of the unprecedented public support to MUFP initiative against threat to freedom of Press from the Minister representing Pipili, refused to allow the rally have a Sit-in-Dharana in front of the Governor House and instead had insisted that the rally should return to the starting spot though the AG square.
The determined demonstrators drafted a delegation to the Raj Bhawan under leadership of the two MUFP leaders Prasanta Patnaik and Rabi Das, who also are joint conveners of the Gana Samaj to give a memorandum to the Governor.
Here is the copy of the memorandum, signed, besides the MUFP leaders, by delegates of the political parties and civil society organizations and submitted to the Governor in Raj Bhawan in absentia:
Shri Muralidhar Chadrakant Bhandare
With deep shock and utter disbelief we the concerned citizens of Odisha would like to bring to your kind notice yet another fact which would shake and shatter any citizen’s minimum faith in the government and administrative system of the day. The Government has turned out to be nightmare for women of the state and this has been abundantly
proved in the Pipli gang rape case and all other rape cases reported from across the state.
A dalit girl who could gather the courage to depose before the court in a rape case committed by powerful local elements with ruling party affiliations three years latter herself becomes a victim of gang rape and attempt to murder by the same forces. Not only that, the earlier victim also has mysteriously died giving rise to speculation of a well
thought out murder and not suicide as officially stated. The incidence that occurred on November 28, 2011 causing the gang rape and attempt to murder of the dalit girl who was witness to the rape of 2008 was also part a criminal conspiracy. In both cases the complicity of the police has been exposed. The way the police handled the whole case in the last three years and the way the state run hospitals behaved with a dying victim of rape could no more be kept away from public eyes. The role of the local M.L.A, and Minister for Agriculture has come under strong suspicion.
Without wasting any further time as presumably you are aware of the developments in the Pipli gang rape case we would like to put forth the following demands with the expectation that as head of state in odisha you will kindly intervene at the earliest and put a check on the erosion of faith in the criminal justice of the State.
1. The dalit rape and attempt to murder victim of Pipli must be provided with all medical support and her recovery must be ensured keeping in mind the terrible reality that her death may destroy all hopes for punishing the criminals and criminalized political elements.
She must be provided with a well proof security cover as there is always a threat to her life.
3. All ruling party elements connected with the crime/accused to be having links with the criminals must immediately be arrested and put behind bar.
4. Instaed of Crime Branch of the State Government , the case should be handed over to the CBI for investigation immediately.
5. All rape cases/gang rape cases in the state must be reviewed by an independent body and cases closed before judicial verdicts must be reopened.
6. All rape victims must be enabled to lead a normal life and they must be adequately rehabilitated including the Pipli gang rape victim.
7. Those who have died/got killed/committed suicide next of their kith and kin must be financially compensated.