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Puri Rape Case: Final Judgment
From Jaya Radhe
Hare Krishna 
Hare Krishna 
Krishna Krishna 
Hare Hare 
Hare Rama 
Hare Rama 
Rama Rama 
Hare Hare

Please accept my humble obeisances. All Glory to Srila Prabhupada and all Vaisnava acaryas!

On April 23, 2002, in the Chief Judicial Magistrate’s court in Sri Puri Dham, Sri Guru Prasad Sahoo gave the concluding verdict after the four-month trial of seven persons accused of raping and molesting Ms. Maria Schmidova and her five-year-old daughter Tulsi in June 2000.

These are the concluding words of the judgment, and they are relevant just in case anyone has any lingering doubts regarding the facts of this case, which was based on not even one molecule of truth:

"On analysis of the entire evidence of the above 15 prosecution witnesses, I find that there is not a single evidence coming out from the mouth of any prosecution witness that any of these accused persons have committed gang-rape on Maria Schmidova. There is also no evidence either direct or circumstantial coming out of the evidence of the aforementioned prosecution witnesses that these accused persons committed carnal intercourse against the order of nature with Tulsi Schmidova at any point of time. There is also no evidence on record to show that any of the accused persons with the intention to screen themselves from legal punishment have disappeared the evidence alleged against them by beating, threatening and washing the body of Tulsi and Maria Schmidova and introducing sleeping pills in the drinking water of Maria so that she will sleep for a long time without knowing about offence committed by the accused persons with Tulsi. There is also no evidence on record coming from the mouth of any prosecution witness that the accused persons at any point of time, caused to be agreed to do illegal acts by raping Maria Schmidova or had carnal intercourse against the order of nature with her minor daughter Tulsi. The photographs seized in this case do not show any indecent representation of any woman, nor is there any evidence coming forth from the prosecution that the accused persons have taken video photographs of Maria Schmidova engaged in sexual act, with intent to sell the same without her knowledge and the said photographs contained indecent representation of any woman.

"Therefore, on the analysis of the entire evidence, I find that the prosecution has failed to establish any of the charges under section 376(g)/345, 3477/34, 201. 120-B of the I.P.C. and under Section 4 of the Indecent Representation of Women Act, and the accused persons are found NOT GUILTY and they are all acquitted under section 232 of the Cr.P.C."

Asoke Sahoo, Mandali Bhadra dasa, Mayapur Chandra dasa, and Bhakta dasa all remained in custody from July-August 2000. Bhakta dasa still is in custody, as he did not attend the trial due to illness. Sudarsan das Mohapatra and three other local Puri men were released on bail in May 2001.

On his release from the Puri jail, Mandali Bhadra had these comments:

"I am very disappointed in the investigation performed by the Crime Branch of Orissa. It is supposed to be a high-class, expert investigation agency. However, in our case, they ignored the truth and went out of their way to concoct a case where there is none. If such police acts continue, then the entire society will become subject all kinds of disease, anarchy, all types of cheating, fighting, etc. By force, the police tried to make us guilty.

"Twelve witnesses said the police forced them to sign blank paper and then the police wrote ‘statements’ on this paper. These ‘statements’ were used to keep the imprisoned devotees from getting bail. For me, I have never had any case against me in my life. I have never been in jail before. I had to live for nearly two years in horrible conditions with very nasty, anti-social people. My wife and my two small children were harassed because everyone in Puri taunted them, ‘Your father is in jail.’ My family suffered so much.

"Inside the jail, the administration is very corrupt, and they are stealing the food and money meant for the care of the prisoners. The police will put a man in jail for six months for stealing one newspaper, but the government servants steal openly and nothing is done to them."

© CHAKRA 7 May 2002

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