Rape accused marries 22-year-old victim in Odisha

Bhubaneswar, Jan 29 (IANS) A 32-year-old undertrial in Odisha has married a 22-year-old woman whom he allegedly raped in January last year, an official said Thursday.

The wedding was solemnised Wednesday at the Jharpada jail in state capital Bhubaneswar where the accused is lodged. Family members, lawyers of both the sides and jail officials following an order by a local court were present, state’s Additional Director General of Prisons Pradeep Kapur told IANS.
According to police, the accused Dilip Behera, a driver by profession, allegedly offered the woman a lift near a village on the outskirt of the state capital when she was waiting for a bus Jan 23 last year. He allegedly took her to a secluded place and raped her.
Based on the complaint lodged by the victim, police arrested Behera a few days later. He is in judicial custody since then.
The rape victim and the accused had filed a joint petition in the court of the additional district and sessions judge at Bhubaneswar recently seeking permission to marry.
The court had recorded the statements of both the accused and the victim and directed the prison authorities to organise the marriage.
As per the order of the court, the prison administration organised the marriage Wednesday, Kapur said.
The marriage was solemnised as per Hindu rituals. The victim is likely to file a petition in the court to set the accused free, her lawyer said.