Odisha rape: Govt-police showdown feared

Odisha rape: Govt-police showdown feared

Odisha Police Association and the state government seem to be heading for an ugly showdown over the latter’s decision to sack the then officer in charge of Pipli police station in coastal Puri district over the controversial gang rape case there involving a dalit teenaged girl.

The association has already threatened not to extend its cooperation during the forthcoming panchayat elections if the government did not withdraw the dismissal order served to the police official by February 5.

  The crucial three tier rural bodies’ polls are scheduled to begin in the state from early next month. Amulya Kumar Champatirai, the then OIC of Pipli police station had been transferred to the temple town of Puri, the headquarters of the costal district soon after the alleged gang rape case came to the fore earlier this month. Subsequently, he was suspended from service. At last the government had dismissed the officer from his job last Tuesday following pressure from different quarters.

Raising its strong objection to the government’s decision, the association, at the emergency meeting of its members on Wednesday, has maintained that it was not proper to dismiss Champatirai from service when investigations into the incident were still on by two agencies — a judicial panel and the crime branch.

Moreover, according to the association, it is also illegal to dismiss a government official from his job without a departmental proceeding.

“It has become a habit for the state government to make junior police personnel sacrificial goats whenever incidents like this take place. We are going to fight this tooth and nail”, said a highly placed source in the police association.The Odisha Police Association has over 8,000 members in its roll.