Former Odisha minister arrested in dowry case

PTI Bhubaneswar/Balasore | Updated on March 30, 2013

After evading police for a fortnight, former Odisha minister Raghunath Mohanty and his wife were arrested from West Bengal on Saturday and brought to Balasore in a dowry torture case slapped by their daughter-in-law.

“The former minister and his wife Pritilata Mohanty were arrested from a place in Howrah district of West Bengal by a team of Human Rights Protection Cell of Odisha Police,” Director General of Police Prakash Mishra said.

On the basis of specific information, a “crack” team of HRPC went to West Bengal and caught the Mohanty couple from Shantikunj Apartments at Betaitola near Shalimar station in Howrah district early this morning, he said.

The arrest was made after ascertaining their whereabouts through intensive investigation involving tapping of over 50 telephones, the DGP said, adding the Mohanty couple had taken two flats on rent in the same complex since March 20 in the name of different persons.

After completion of procedural formalities, the senior BJD leader and his wife were brought to Odisha and interrogated by an investigating team at Chandipur Marine Police Station, Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) and Chief of HRPC, B K Sharma said.

The arrest came after their daughter-in-law Barsa Swony Choudhury filed an FIR at Balasore Town Police station on March 14 accusing the then Law and Urban Development Minister and four family members, including her husband, of physically and mentally torturing her for dowry.

Mohanty resigned from Naveen Patnaik Ministry the next day on March 15, while his son Raja Shree Mohanty was arrested near Cuttack on March 17 and sent to jail.

Besides Mohanty couple and their son, the FIR named their daughter Rupasree and son-in-law Suvendu Madhual, police said, adding Barsa alleged that Mohanty’s family tortured her demanding Rs 25 lakh, luxury vehicle and other things. She also accused her husband of having extra-marital relations.

Thanking police for arresting the duo, Barsa said “I am happy to certain extent .. two more persons (Rupashree and her husband) need to be arrested. All of them were equally responsible for torturing me.”

Published on March 30, 2013

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