The Orissa police on Sunday arrested one of the alleged rapists of a Dalit girl from Puri district. Prasanta Pradhan alias Pasei of Paparanga village in Pipili,the main accused in the case,would be produced before a court in Puri on Monday.
The police are still searching for the three other accused,who along with Pradhan,allegedly raped and then tried to strangulate the 18-year-old girl in her Arjunagoda village in Pipili on November 28. The girl is in coma in the ICU of a Bhubaneshwar hospital. She is likely to be taken to All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi soon. Doctors said she needs prolonged treatment as her cerebral cortex has stopped functioning due to the strangulation.
The case,meanwhile,has become a political issue ahead of next months panchayat elections with the Opposition Congress and the BJP demanding a CBI probe in view of allegations that Agriculture Minister Pradip Maharathi was sheltering the accused.