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Parents of a Brutally Murdered Girl Attempt Self-Immolation Outside Odisha Assembly

The main accused in the case is a key aide of a state minister from Nayagarh district, and parents allege police inaction.
The Odisha Assembly building. Credit: Official website

Bhubaneswar: A man and his wife from Odisha’s Nayagarh district attempted self-immolation outside the assembly here on Tuesday, claiming that they have been denied justice in the alleged abduction and murder case of their five-year-old daughter.

Security personnel deployed near the Assembly building immediately intervened and prevented the couple identified as Ashok Sahu and Soudamini from lighting the matchstick even though they had poured kerosene on their bodies.

The police, after seizing the kerosene bottle and a matchbox from their possession, took them into custody.

Ashok alleged that his five-year-old daughter was kidnapped while she was playing near a home on July 10, 2020.

Her body was later found in the backyard with eyes gouged out and kidneys removed.

“Though we lodged a complaint with the Nayagarh Sadar Police station, no action was taken. We found her body dumped in our backyard two weeks later.

“We had even named the accused at the grievance cell of the district Superintendent of Police and the collector, but no measure was taken to punish him,” Ashok stated.

Contending that the main accused was a key aide of a minister from Nayagarh district, Ashok said the police “bowed down to political pressure”.

He also alleged that the accused and his associates attacked them on October 26, as they refused to withdraw the complaint in connection with the case.

“Although the police arrested 10 people for attacking us, it spared the main accused,” he claimed.

A senior police officer in Bhubaneswar, when approached, said the matter was being looked into.

Incidentally, the self-immolation bid was made by the couple outside the Assembly, when its members were holding discussions on the prevailing law and order situation in the state.

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