SIT intensifies probe in Odisha minor’s murder; Congress, BJP teams meet her parents


The girl’s parents had named Babuli Nayak, a loyalist of the State’s Agriculture Minister Arun Kumar Sahoo, as the main accused

The Special Investigation Team has intensified its probe into the kidnapping and subsequent murder of a minor girl in Odisha’s Nayagarh, officials said.

The girl’s parents had named Babuli Nayak, a loyalist of the State’s Agriculture Minister Arun Kumar Sahoo, as the main accused and lodged a complaint against his name.

Mr. Sahoo has been accused of shielding Mr. Nayak, as no arrests have yet been made in the case since it came to light on November 24, after her parents attempted a self-immolation in front of the Assembly in Bhubaneswar.

SIT Chief Arun Botha, who has himself interrogated Mr. Nayak, said on Saturday, “Give me at least a fortnight. We started the investigation into the incident four-five days back”.

The team members also searched the house of Mr. Nayak and his driver in order to ascertain their involvement in the crime, the officials said.

The five-year-old girl had gone missing on July 14 and her skeletal remains were found in the backyard of her house at Jadupur village of Nayagarh district on July 23.

Meanwhile, a high-level delegation of the State unit of Congress visited the minor’s native village and met her parents.

“We demand corporal punishment for the culprits involved in the crime. We also hope that the little girl’s family will get justice from the probe being carried out by the SIT,” said Odisha Congress in-charge A. Chella Kumar.

A separate team led by BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra also met her parents at the village.

“We have three demands. One a CBI probe into the incident, the second is dismissal of the agriculture minister, who gave protection to the main accused in the case and justice for the girl’s family,” said Mr. Patra.

The ruling BJD, however, has denounced the Opposition parties’ accusations, asserting that they were trying to politicise the matter.

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