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Congress today came down on The BJD regime in Odisha over the alleged rape and murder of a widow in Dhenkanal district and said it would hold a state-wide agitation on June 19 demanding assistance to the woman's family and trial of the case in fast track court. "The gangrape and brutal murder of the 45-year-old woman in Kankadahada area was as barbaric as the horrific Nirbhaya episode of Delhi. But Odisha government failed to handle it seriously," Odisha PCC President Prasad Harichandan told reporters here. Though four persons have been arrested in connection with the June 12 incident, it has exposed the failure of the Naveen Patnaik government to ensure safety and security of women, he said and accused the police of being soft on the accused. The accused werenot booked under relevant sections of SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and though there are two ministers from the area, none has so far visited the village where the incident took place, he said. Urging the state government to provide help to the woman's family, Harichandan demanded an assistance of Rs 20 lakh to the affected family and trial of the case in a special fast track court. The party, he said, would hold an agitation at the district headquarters of the state and other places on June 19 over the issue by the party's women's wing and ST-SC cell. BJP too raised questions about the investigation that was conducted in the case by the police.
BJP women wing president Prabhati Parida alleged that the case was not probed in "a proper and serious manner" and some more people are suspected to have been involved in the crime. The BJP leader also demanded that trial of the case be held in a fast track court. Four persons were arrested yesterday in connection with the alleged gangrape and murder of the widow on the night of June 12 at Balikuma village in Kankadahada area of Dhenkanal district.
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