Orissa police to probe rape, burning alive of woman

October 5th, 2008 - 6:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhubaneswar, Oct 5 (IANS) The police Sunday said they would probe allegations that a Hindu woman was raped and burnt alive by a rampaging mob during the communal violence that erupted after the killing of a Hindu leader in Orissa.T.V Peter, procurator of the Sambalpur diocese in the western part of the state, Saturday alleged that Rajani Majhi was gangraped and burnt alive by a mob at a church-run orphanage in Padampur town in the district of Bargarh, some 430 km from here, on Aug 25.

Peter said he was willing to testify in any court of law.

“The mob thought she was a Christian girl but actually she was a Hindu and had been adopted by a childless couple. She was working in the orphanage,” said Peter.

The priest alleged that police remained mute spectators instead of rescuing the victims.

Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG north-western range) Y.B. Khurania told IANS: “Police have arrested 20 people on charges of rioting, arson and murder in this case.” The arrested people are under judicial custody, he said.

“Two of our policemen were at the site when the incident took place and they were also assaulted. It was because of the policemen that the father (Father Sequiera) was rescued,” he said. The police have registered a case on the basis of the written complaint filed by the police constables assaulted by the mob, he said.

“Nobody has told us about the rape, neither the assaulted policemen who witnessed the incident, nor Father Sequiera,” he said. Other witnesses have not complained about it, he added.

The post-mortem and medical examination of the woman found no evidence of rape, the police official said.

“We have come across the fresh allegation made by Peter. We have sent a police team to meet him to find if there is any other eyewitness account of the incident,” he said. “If anyone can give more insight into the case, they would be most welcome,” he said.

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