ONI Bureau: Odisha Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy has expressed regret for his remarks on the Pipili gangrape and murder verdict, saying he did not intend to hurt anyone’s sentiments. Maharathy had hailed the lower court’s verdict acquitting both the accused and said ‘truth has prevailed’ and ‘the victim has got justice’.
Reports suggest that CM Naveen Patnaik is highly upset with Maharathy and may seek his resignation soon as part of damage control exercise. As Naveen Patnaik has always maintained a tough stand when it comes to women’s respect and dignity, it is believed that he would not upset the women folk in the election year.
The BJP and Congress have gone an offensive, seeking Maharathy’s resignation. The Congress Mahila Morcha workers even hurled eggs and tomatoes at his residence earlier in the day. The BJP Mahila Morcha held a candle march protesting against Maharathy’s statement and sought his ouster from the Cabinet.
Meanwhile, the Odisha Crime Branch has decided to move the High Court against the lower court’s decision to acquit all accused in Bebina rape and murder case in Pipili.