Alleged rape of minor girl rocks Puri amidst festivity

More than ten thousand police personnel including some very senior police officials are currently stationed in Puri for maintenance of law and order during the ongoing Rath Yatra festival. PTI file photo

The alleged rape of a minor tribal girl rocked the Odisha temple town of Puri on Tuesday amidst festivity in the coastal town for the ongoing nine-day long Rath Yatra celebration of Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra, the three presiding deities of the Puri shrine.

The local police have launched a detailed investigation into the incident after arresting the helper of a passenger bus, alleged to be the main culprit in the shocking development that had reportedly taken place late on Monday night inside an empty passenger bus parked in a bus stand in the temple town.

According to a report reaching the state capital from Puri, the incident came to light early on Tuesday morning after some locals found the 15-year-old girl standing and crying on Saradhabali, the main street just a few yards from Sri Gundicha temple where the three deities are currently resting before their return journey to the main Puri temple on July 12.

The locals informed the police which swung into action immediately and arrested the bus helper in connection with the incident. Hailing from the backward tribal dominated district of Keonjhar, the minor girl was working in a private business establishment at Malatipatapur in the outskirts of Puri.

She had gone home and was returning to her workplace on Monday at a private passenger bus. She had gone to sleep when the bus crossed Malitpatapur. When she woke up she found herself inside the empty passenger bus parked on Puri bus stand. The helper of the bus reportedly convinced her to stay back inside the bus and return to her workplace in the morning. Later the helper allegedly raped her taking advantage of the situation.

The incident has shocked many because it has reportedly taken place at a time when the entire temple town is under heavy police deployment. More than ten thousand police personnel including some very senior police officials are currently stationed in Puri for maintenance of law and order during the ongoing Rath Yatra festival.

                             

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