Sexual Harassment;Police register case against Orissa Speaker

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Bhubaneswar,Mar 29 (UNI) The police today formally registered a criminal case against Speaker Maheswar Mohanty two days after the suspension of Lady Marshal Gayatri Panda who filed a complaint before a Mahila police station here, alleging sexual harassment.

Police said the criminal case was registered against the Speaker and others under section 506(criminal intimidation),507 (criminal intimidation by anonymous communication),509(word gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) and 34 of the IPC (act by several persons with some common intention).

Deputy Commissioner of Police Amitav Thakur said the FIR was registered after the signature of Ms.Panda was verified with the signature supplied by the Assembly Secretariat.

The police initially registered as a station diary since Ms.Panda had on March 27 last sent the complaint through woman activist and ''Sanjeebani'' Secretary Rituparna Mohanty to Assistant Commissioner of Police B N Guru stating that she did not file the report personally fearing threat to her life.

She had alleged that the since the past few months,the Speaker had been sexually harassing her and was mentally tortured as the Speaker repeatedly sent her obscene pictures and tried to persuade her to maintain sexual relation with him, Ms Panda said though she had informed the Assembly Secretary twice about it, no action was taken against Mr Mohanty so far.

The Speaker, however, rubbished the allegations saying that Ms Panda levelled the charges against him after he initiated disciplinary action against her.Dubbing the allegation as ''false and baseless'', Mr Mohanty said a 'deep conspiracy' was going on against him and several influential people were involved in it.

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