Odisha Congress MLA Krushna Chandra Sagaria resigned from the Assembly on Tuesday, claiming he had failed to ensure justice for an Adivasi girl who committed suicide in January, months after being allegedly raped by four men, PTI reported.
In October 2017, the 14-year-old girl had accused four men in uniform of raping her in Kunduli in the Maoist-dominated Koraput district. The Human Rights Protection Cell of the Odisha Police refuted her claims in its report to the state Human Rights Commission.
Before she was found dead on January 22, the girl’s relatives claimed she had attempted suicide because she was frustrated with the justice system. In her complaint, the girl had accused senior police officers, including Odisha Director General of Police RP Sharma, of trying to influence her to withdraw the case. Sharma has denied the accusation.
Sagaria said he had announced his decision to quit the Assembly on October 30 and submitted his resignation letter to Speaker PK Amat on Tuesday morning. “I feel I have no moral right to continue as an MLA, having failed to ensure justice in Kunduli gangrape and suicide incident,” he told reporters.
The speaker has not responded to his submission yet, Sagaria said. Attempts to contact Amat for comment were unsuccessful.
Sagaria had earlier held the Biju Janata Dal-led state government responsible for the crime and accused the police of “hushing up” the investigation. “I will tell people about the inaction on the part of the state government in providing justice and security to women,” he had said.
The Congress has demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation inquiry into the girl’s death.