Editors :Adds quotes from Women and Child Development minister Bhubaneswar, Mar 31 (PTI) The Odisha Assembly was today adjourned thrice back to back amidst ruckus by the Opposition demanding a probe by crime branch and a statement from the Chief Minister on the alleged gangrape of a tribal girl at Ankuli village in Ganjam district.
The issue was raised during Zero Hour by the Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra (Congress), who demanded a crime branch inquiry and a statement from the Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik.
The Congress leader said that though he had earlier raised the issue in the House, the chief minister had not replied.
Mishra said that the girl was raped because her father had worked for the Congress in the panchayat polls.
The Leader of Opposition urged the Speaker, Niranjan Pujari, to give direction to the chief minister to make a statement in the House.
Mishra also found support from BJP legislature party leader K V Singhdeo, who demanded a statement from Patnaik.
Subsequently, members of both the opposition parties (Congress and BJP) rushed to the well of the House and shouted anti-government slogans.
Unable to continue with the proceedings, Pujari adjourned the House, thrice in a row till 3 pm.
Congress had yesterday demanded resignation of state Women and Child Development Minister, Usha Devi, in the wake of the incident.
The girl had complained to the SP on Tuesday that she had been kidnapped by five persons on March 9 last and raped for 10 days before they left her in a forest.
The Women and Child Development Minister today claimed that the minor girl was married and not gangraped as alleged by the opposition Congress and BJP.
The Minister said this outside the Assembly after opposition parties stalled proceedings of the House on the issue.
One person has been arrested in this connection while another suspected accused was at large, the minister said.
“She is 17-year-old and had eloped with a man. She was married to a man at a Shiv temple,” the minister said adding that the man fled away leaving her alone in the forest.
The minister said: “The girl in her statement before the district judge has revealed all this. Whatever allegations are made by opposition members are not based on facts.” “Whatever her age is, she is married to the man. This is not a case of rape,” she said.
“How can you call it a case of gangrape when the girl is already married?” the minister asked.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.