Orissa government orders probe after violence over gang rape

February 26th, 2008 - 5:03 pm ICT by admin  

(Lead)

Bhubaneswar, Feb 26 (IANS) The Orissa government Tuesday ordered probe into the alleged gang rape of a student in Sambalpur, following violent protests by students and residents forced the closure of a university. The state government has ordered the probe and revenue divisional commissioner northern range would submit the inquiry report to the government within next 15 days, a top official of the office of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik told IANS.

The 20-year-old student of the Sambalpur University at Burla town, some 350 km from here, was found traumatized with multiple injuries at the nearby Sambalpur town Sunday morning.

The first-semester student of Masters in Computer Application (MCA) was missing after she reportedly left the university hostel for shopping Saturday evening.

The police suspect she was abducted, administered drugs and raped. She also has several burn marks possibly caused by cigarettes, a senior police official said.

The university was closed indefinitely following violent protests by students over the alleged gang rape.

Hundreds of students Monday evening ransacked several offices and damaged computers and university properties worth about Rs.10 million, a top official of the university told IANS.

“Looking at the situation, we closed the university for the time being,” Vice-Chancellor U.C. Biswal confirmed.

The protesting students blocked several roads, disrupted traffic in both Burla and Sambalpur towns Monday and beat up two university officials, the police said.

The students also accused the police of failing to nab the alleged rapists. The students are accusing the hostel authorities of callousness. They said the authorities did not inform the police in time that the student was missing.

“The hostel authorities should have informed the police when the girl did not return to the hostel,” student leader Hemant Meher said.

“Rather the hostel authorities tried to escape responsibility, showing the girl in hostel register as present on that night. We want immediate arrests of all culprits and action against hostel superintendents,” the student leader said.

“Unless and until that is done, we will continue our agitation,” he threatened.

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