Odisha Cong MLA resigns over Kunduli gangrape incident

Bhubaneswar: Congress MLA Krishna Chandra Sagaria on Tuesday resigned as member of the Odisha Assembly, protesting “injustice” meted out to an alleged gangrape victim of Koraput district, who committed suicide earlier this year.

A 14-year-old girl in Kunduli area of Koraput district had alleged that she was gangraped by four men in uniform in October, last year. The police, however, ruled out rape, citing her medical reports.

The girl subsequently committed suicide by hanging on January 22, triggering sharp reactions from many quarters.

Stating that he had announced his decision to quit as a legislator on October 30, Sagaria, who represented Koraput assembly segment, said he met Assembly Speaker P K Amat on Tuesday morning and submitted his resignation letter.

“I have quit the membership of Odisha Assembly, as I feel I have no moral right to continue as an MLA, having failed to ensure justice in Kunduli gangrape and suicide incident,” the Congress leader told reporters.

Sagaria also said that the speaker hasn’t reacted to his move as yet.

Amat was not immediately available for comment.

The Dalit leader, however, clarified he would continue to work for the Congress.

He said he was deeply pained to have learned about the fate of the 14-year-old Kunduli girl, earlier this year.

“Being the local representative, I was morally responsible to ensure justice for her,” he noted.

Holding the BJD-led state government responsible for the incident, the Congress leader had earlier alleged that the investigation was “hushed up” by the police.

He vowed to reach out to the people of Odisha to generate create awareness about the “increasing atrocities and crimes against women” in the state.

“I will tell people about the inaction on the part of the state government in providing justice and security to women,” he had said.