On Saturday, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan demanded that the Odisha government hand over the abduction and murder case of a 5-year-old girl from the Nayagarh district as the SIT of the state police investigating the matter ignored allegations of an organ trade aspect.
The parents of the girl raised concern that an organ trafficking racket could be behind her kidnapping and murder.
The Union Minister claimed that if a highly competent central agency with a wealth of expertise is checked, the case may be resolved. “As the Uttar Pradesh government handed over the Hatharas gang rape and murder case to the CBI, the Odisha government should not hesitate to do the same to clear doubts from the minds of people,” Mr. Pradhan said.
The parents of the victim girl are also dissatisfied with the SIT’s investigations and have been seeking a CBI inquiry, said the minister.
A youth from Jadupur, the girl’s village, was arrested by the SIT of the Odisha Police Crime Branch in connection with the case on 10 December and charged with rape in addition to kidnapping and murder.
The Minister of the Union reported that suspicion of the presence of an organ trafficking ring is gaining ground as about 5,000 children remain missing in the state.
Similar allegations were also made by the national spokesperson of the BJP, Sambit Patra, before the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), which recommended an investigation by any central agency.
On July 14, the little girl went missing while playing near her home, and on July 23, her skeletal remains were discovered in a gun bag at the back of her house.
After her parents attempted self-immolation in front of the state assembly in Bhubaneswar on November 24, the incident came to the fore. A high court-monitored SIT inquiry was directed by the state government after the problem rattled the assembly for several days.
The opposition BJP demanded a CBI investigation and dismissal of Arun Kumar Sahoo, Minister of Agriculture, accusing him of protecting the prime accused in the case of abduction and murder of the little girl.