BJD asks ex-minister to surrender soon

Raghunath Mohanty
Bhubaneswar, Mar 29: Unable to persuade former Odisha Law minister and dowry torture accused Raghunath Mohanty to surrender, ruling BJD today asked him to respect law of the land or face consequences.

"Through media, I will like to request Raghunath Mohanty to cooperate with the law before the matter gets further complicated," government Deputy Whip Sanjay Dasburma told reporters.

Dasburma's appeal to Mohanty, who is on run, came three days after BJD chief whip Pravat Tripathy appealed to the ex-minister to surrender.

Tripathy had also said Mohanty should give himself up immediately in the interest of BJD. Raghunath Mohanty, who resigned as a minister on March 15, a day after his daughter-in-law Barsa Swony Choudhury lodged an FIR against him and his family members, remained incommunicado.

Mohanty's petitions seeking legal protection against arrest was also turned down by the High Court. Barsa had alleged that she was tortured physically and mentally at the house of Mohanty for dowry.

"My father-in-law (Mohanty) was instrumental in the torture on me," she has said. Besides being a long time MLA and a minister, Mohanty was also a vice-president of BJD.

The ruling party which initially termed the dowry torture case against Mohanty as a "family affair", later requested him to surrender in the face of growing demand by opposition parties.

Congress and BJP have targeted Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and held him responsible for "escape" of Mohanty. "Why the Chief Minister did not ask police to arrest Mohanty after he resigned from ministry on March 15," asked Congress Chief Whip Prasad Harichandan.


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