SIT On Kunduli Cases: Opinion Divided In Bureaucracy On Who Should Head It

Bhubaneswar: All eyes are on the state government’s decision regarding who would head the special investigation team (SIT) to probe into the alleged rape and subsequent suicide of a minor girl of Kunduli in Odisha’s Koraput district. While a section within the top echelons of the bureaucracy feels senior IPS officer Bijay Kumar Sharma might get the responsibility in view of his long experience in handling major cases, another section is of the opinion that the team should be led by an inspector general (IG) of police or deputy inspector general (DIG) of police rank officer.

Sources said Sharma, who is serving as director general (fire services) and commandant general (OSAP), could be entrusted the job considering his experience in the CBI, state crime branch of police and commissioner of Bhubaneswar-Cuttack police. “He has effectively handled major assignments in the past. The Kunduli cases need to be probed properly,” a senior officer opined.

However, another section believes the task need not be entrusted to a DGP-rank officer like B K Sharma and a IG/DIG rank officer should deal with it. “The state government will put forth a panel of names before the Orissa high court. Thereafter, the person would be selected. But it can be handled by an IGP/DGP rank officer,” a top source revealed.

The ruling dispensation seemingly does not want to take chances with the Kunduli probe considering the political heat it is currently facing because On Wednesday, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced formation of a court-monitored Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the Kunduli cases, in the wake of opposition demands for a CBI inquiry into the matter.

Opposition Congress and BJP have been trying to put the state government in the dock over the issue. Sources said the SIT is expected to begin its probe soon.

Naveen had said the state government will take immediate steps for handing over investigation of the cases to a SIT with a prayer to be monitored by court. Official sources said the government has moved the Orissa high court in this matter.

The state government had earlier ordered a Crime Branch probe as well as judicial inquiry into the Kunduli episode.

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