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SC to hear Orissa government reply on CBI probe today

New Delhi, Tue, 21 Oct 2008 NI Wire

The Supreme Court will hear the second consecutive day on Tuesday on the Orissa government’s contention that after issuing judicial probe in Kandhamal nun rape case during communal violence in the state there was no need to handover the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The Orissa government on Monday had vehemently objected in the apex court against any move to transfer the nun rape case to the CBI saying “there was neither any ground nor need for transfer of the investigation of this case to the CBI.”

The crime branch of the state police is investigating the rape case in a free and fair manner and has made considerable progress, it added.

The affidavit on behalf of the Orissa government was filed yesterday against the petition of Archbishop of Cuttack, Raphael Cheenath, pending before the apex court seeking a CBI probe into the rape of a nun by a mob at K. Nuagaon village in Kandhamal district on August 25.

On the question of compensation of Rs 3 crore as demanded by Raphel Cheenath for reconstruction of Churches demolished and damaged during the Kandhamal violence, the Orissa government said compensation was not permissible under the secular policy of the State.

An affidavit filed by the state home secretary Tarun Kanti Mishra said: “No compensation is paid for damaged religious institutions, irrespective of their religious affiliations, as per the secular policy of the state government.”

“The state government though gives lump-sum compensation in the nature of ex-gratia payments for damage to schools, colleges and shelter homes and other public and charitable institutions run by religious institutions.”

In a fresh reply, Orissa government said a criminal case was registered on August 26 on a complaint of the nun against 40 to 50 unidentified accused. The victim had not mentioned any name but assured she could identify them if being brought before her.

However, soon after the incident the nun had left the place and denied to cooperate in the investigation. Police is on the look for her since then. So, the accusation that the police knew about the identity of the assailants on August 25 is not true, the Orissa government said.

So far, eight people have been arrested in this case. Three persons identified as Mitu Patnaik, Saroj Ghadai and Munna Ghadai- were arrested from Palghat area of Kerala last week.

Earlier this week, five others- Santosh Pradhan, Juria Pradhan, Kartik Pradhan, Biren Kumar Sahu and Tapas Kumar Patnaik had been arrested by the state police.


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