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Odisha: Rape victim woman lecturer commits suicide after a month of police inaction

The lecturer had committed suicide inside a hostel room on Saturday, after a month of filing a rape complaint and seeing no action against the accused. The district police have now suspended an ASI and transferred an inspector for alleged inaction.

In Odisha, alleged police apathy has prompted a woman physics lecturer who was allegedly raped by her relative last month, to commit suicide on Saturday. Following the women’s death, the police sprung into action, suspending an ASI while transferring an Inspector.

The SI of Jharpokharia police station Prasanta Swain has been suspended for delaying the investigation and IIC Sarat Mahali transferred to the district headquarters.

The victim, a physics lecturer, had committed suicide inside a hostel room in the Rairangpur College. She was found hanging at around 8.30 pm on Saturday.

As per reports, the woman who hails from the Pandhada village in Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district, had gone to her sister-in-law and brother’s house to celebrate Kali Puja on October 26 when she was allegedly raped by her sister-in-law’s brother Soumya Ranjan Sahu. When she revealed her ordeal to her sister-in-law, she was persuaded to keep silence on the issue.

However, the accused contacted the victim and allegedly sent her obscene photographs recorded during the incident, threatening her that if she reported about the incident to anyone, he will upload her pictures on the Internet. The woman then filed an FIR with Jharpokharia police station on October 30. The police registered the FIR under sections 376 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code and the victim was sent for a medical test at PRM Medical College and Hospital. Her statement was also recorded but no action was taken against the culprit for a month.

Perturbed by police inaction, on Saturday night, the woman committed suicide and her body was found hanging in her room in the women’s hostel of the college. According to the victim’s father, a suicide note was recovered from his daughter’s hostel room. The incident touched off an upheaval with the victim’s father along with some other students of the college not allowing the body to be taken for post-mortem for around 12 hours. The agitators were placated by Rairangpur Town IIC Ranjan Kumar Sethi and SDPO Snehasish Sahu and subsequently, the body was taken for post-mortem.

As the police are awaiting the post-mortem report, the SP stated that the primary accused along with his other two accomplices, Debabrata Mandal and Sujit Mandal have been arrested from Dhanmandal in Cuttack district. Debabrata and Sujit allegedly threatened the victim. The complaint filed by the victim’s father mentions 6 people as accused. The police have caught 3 of them while the remaining three are yet to be arrested.

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