Odisha Shame: Dowry harassment case forces Law Min to resign

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Raghunath Mohanty
Bhubaneshwar, March 15: After the daughter-in-law of Odisha's Law and Urban Development Minister Raghunath Mohanty filed a dowry harassment case against Mohanty and his family, the minister resigned on Friday.

Mohanty submitted his resignation to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. Mohanty said he resigned on "moral grounds" after the dowry case was filed by his daughter-in-law Barsha Sony Mohanty.

"I have submitted my resignation to the Chief Minister on moral grounds," Mohanty told reporters outside Naveen Nivas.

However, Mohanty denied all charges against him. In fact, Mohanty told reporters that it was a "conspiracy" and charges were framed against him to malign his reputation.

"Allegation against me and my family is totally false and baseless. The people of Balasore know the truth. Let the law take its own course," said Mohanty.

The former Law and Urban Development minister is a five-time MLA from Basta constituency in Balasore district.

Mohanty, MLA for fifth consecutive term, had been a minister since 2000 and held important portfolios including parliamentary affairs, industries and IT.

Barsha had lodged an FIR against the minister, his wife Pritilata, his son Rajasree and other members of family on Thursday night.

In her complaint at the Balasore police station, she alleged that she was physically and mentally abused by her in-laws for dowry a few days after her marriage in June 2012. She alleged that her in-laws demanded Rs 25 lakh and a Scorpio car from her family.

She has also alleged that her in-laws and husband had tried to kidnap and kill her.

A case has been registered against the minister and others under section 498 (A), 506, 448 and 34 of IPC on the basis of the complaint lodged by Barsha, police said. In her FIR, the woman said she married Rajasree on June 24, 2012. During marriage, her parents had given Rs 10 lakh and other household articles.

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