Women activists demand probe into stripping of anti-liquor activist

January 6th, 2009 - 12:30 am ICT by IANS  

Bhubaneswar, Jan 5 (IANS) Women activists in Orissa Monday demanded a probe into the alleged stripping last month of a woman anti-liquor activist by some people in Balasore district.Several women activists met the chairperson of the State Women’s Commission (SWC) Namita Panda and demanded the immediate arrest of those responsible for stripping and beating Jayanti Padhi, a known anti-liquor activist. They also demanded a probe and action against police officials who they alleged were shielding the attackers.

Jayanti Padhi alleged that on Dec 25 eight people stripped her and beat her in a market in Khirkona village, some 250 km from here. Police have arrested three people but Padhi alleged that the real cuprites are at large. She also alleged that the men had paraded her semi nude on the street.

All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) state president Tapasi Praharaj said she along with some other women activists met the commission chairperson and demanded a probe into the matter.

The local police have been directed to arrest all the accused before Jan 10, Balasore district superintendent of police Rekha Lohani said.

More than 100 people died in 1992 after consuming spurious liquor in Cuttack and Bhubaneswar. Since then, several women’s organisations in the state have been demanding total prohibition in the sale and manufacture of liquor.

The state imposed a ban on alcohol in 1994, but the Congress, which came to power in 1995, lifted the ban to earn revenue. The government began retailing liquor after Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik took office in 2000.

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