Odisha Assembly adjourned over rising cases of rape

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Bhubaneswar: The State Assembly was adjourned thrice on Monday as Opposition Congress and BJP legislators cornered the state ruling BJD in the Odisha Assembly over the rising cases of rape in Odisha.

As soon as business of the House began today, the Opposition members created uproar over the recent incidents of child rape in the State and demanded Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s statement on the floor of the House over the matter.

The Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra requested Speaker Pradip Amat to cancel Question Hour and give a ruling to discuss the recent incidents of rape of minors in the state. But the Speaker rejected his request. Protesting Amat’s decision, irate Congress MLAs rushed to the well of the House and shouted slogans against the government.

Unable to run the House, the Speaker adjourned the House till 11.30 am. The Speaker had to adjourn the House again till 12.50 pm during Zero Hour and then till 3 pm as the Opposition members stuck to their demands.

“The incidence of rape of girls and women has assumed alarming proportions in Odisha. We urged the Speaker to initiate a discussion on this issue and ask the chief minister, who is in charge of home portfolio, to give his statement in the House,” Mishra told mediapersons.

“Though the chief minister had earlier told the House that the State Government has taken up the matter seriously, he did not give much emphasis to a discussion on this issue in the House. Can the chief minister give a clarification on why the State Government is not being able to stop such incidents by just setting up woman and child help desks in the police stations? The culprits have been committing such crimes with complete disregard to the law. Taking all these into consideration, the chief minster should come up with a clarification in the House,” he added.

BJP MLA Rabi Nayak said the rate of such heinous crimes is on the rise in Odisha and the chief minister has remained a mute spectator. “The state government has failed to properly discharge its responsibility. As a result, people are in no mood to take the police into confidence,” he maintained.

Terming child rape as most shocking, government chief whip Amar Prasad Satpathy said while the Centre has enacted a law for stringent punishment to rapists, the Odisha police is completely aware of the incident and has taken appropriate action. He said the House will have intense deliberation on this issue during the discussion on the supplementary demands of the Home department on April 26.

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