An official of Odisha State Commission for Protection of Child Rights has said after meeting the schoolgirl, who was raped in Koraput district on October 10, that the victim “clearly remembers that the four men who assaulted her were wearing camouflage uniforms. Maoists also wear those kind of uniforms but the girl says that from their language and mannerisms they did not appear to be Maoists”.
The initial suspicion had fallen on Maoists in the Kotpad area of the district from where the crime was reported. The girl was allegedly raped by four men in camouflage fatigues when she was returning home from school. The CPI(Maoist) issued a statement on Friday, denying any involvement in the rape of the tribal girl, a Class XI student.
Jagabandhu, spokesperson for the Andhra-Odisha border special zonal committee of CPI(Maoist) released an audio tape, denouncing the crime. “We are not involved in the incident. We never do such kind of heinous acts. We are being falsely implicated in the case. We’ll observe a bandh in Koraput district on October 16.”
The statement was released after some police officers voiced suspicion that those who raped the the girl could be Maoists. DIG (south-western range) S Shyni, who is leading the probe, said, “Whether it is paramilitary or police or anyone, we are investigating everyone. There is no question of protecting anyone.”
BSF, CRPF and CobRA have issued statements denying involvement of their men in the crime. Five police teams of Koraput police are probing the incident. Duty registers and patrol records of paramilitary forces posted in the area are being scrutinised.
The Odisha State Commission for Women, too, has registered a case and sent a four-member team to Koraput to meet the girl.