Minor girl, 50-year-old woman raped in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: A five-year-old girl was allegedly raped by a minor boy in Sambalpur district, while in Mayurbhanj two men were arrested on the charge of raping a 50-year-old tribal woman, the police said on Tuesday.

The minor boy has been apprehended on the basis of a complaint lodged by the girl’s family and an investigation has been initiated, a police officer said.  While the minor girl was allegedly raped yesterday, the elderly woman was reportedly raped on Sunday, the police said. In another incident, the headmaster of a government upper primary school in Puri district was arrested today on charge of sexually assaulting three minor girls on the pretext of “leg massage”, the police said.

The girls, two of whom are class 5 students and one a class 4 student, narrated the entire episode before their family members, and accused the teacher of using vulgar words and making obscene gestures, the police said, adding the headmaster has, however, has denied the allegations. Meanwhile, the state government today assured the Assembly that stringent actions are being taken against the culprits in such cases. As per the direction of Speaker Pradip Kumar Amat, state Parliamentary Affairs Minister B K Arukha today made a statement in the Assembly on the rape cases in the state.

He spoke on behalf of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. “Providing security to women, children and other vulnerable groups is the state’s priority. It is a matter of concern for the state that minor girls are being raped. The police have been asked to take stringent action against the culprits,” Arukha said. The minister said after two minor girls were raped in Cuttack district on April 21, police arrested the accused within 12 hours.

The accused persons in Balasore and Kendrapara districts have also been arrested, the minister said, adding an person accused of being involved in the rape of a minor girl at Thuamul Rampur in Kalahandi district has also been held. The police have been directed to undertake quick investigation and incidents of rape of minors are being treated as ‘Red Flag’ cases, Arukha said. He also informed the House that the state government has appointed 192 assistant public prosecutors to speed up to the justice delivery system.

“The conviction rate in rape cases has increased to 18.90 per cent in 2017 due to proper monitoring of cases,” the minister said. The minister’s statement, however, failed to satisfy the opposition members. “The state government should take some concrete steps which will stop rapes, particularly of minor girls. We are not satisfied with the minister’s reply,” BJP MLA Prafulla Majhi told reporters. BJP MLA Radharani Panda said, “We are disappointed with the minister’s statement. The government should take stringent measures to curb sexual assault on women and girls.”

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