Orissa ex-minister,Raghunath Mohanty,his wife held in dowry torture case

Mohanty,also BJP vice-president,resigned from the Naveen Patnaik cabinet on March 15,and fled Orissa.

Written by Debabrata Mohanty | Bhubaneswar | Published: March 31, 2013 8:48:20 am

Former Orissa law minister Raghunath Mohanty and his wife,Pritilata,wanted in a dowry torture case,were arrested from West Bengal on Saturday,after being on the run for a fortnight.

Following an FIR filed by their daughter-in-law,Barsa Swony Choudhury,on March 14,the couple and their family had been booked under Section 498 (A),448,506,34 of the IPC and Section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act.

Mohanty,also the BJP vice-president,resigned from the Naveen Patnaik cabinet on March 15,and fled Orissa. Soon after his arrest today,Patnaik suspended him from the party post.

Barsa’s husband,Raja Shri,the main accused,was arrested on March 17.

Mohanty and his wife were arrested from an apartment in Shalimar area of Howrah by the Orissa Police. Sources said they got a tip-off that a vehicle with an Orissa registration number had been seen frequently in the area.

The arrest was made after ascertaining the couple’s whereabouts through intensive investigation involving tapping of over 50 telephones,sources said.

The couple had rented two flats in Shantikunj Apartments at Betaitola,near Shalimar station in Howrah district,since March 20 under different names.

“They could not escape,there was no scuffle,” said Addl DGP B K Sharma. The couple were produced before a court in Balasore in the afternoon,and sent to judicial custody till April 2.

In her complaint,Barsa had accused Mohanty’s family of torturing her and demanding dowry including Rs 25 lakh and a luxury vehicle. She alleged that although Mohanty himself was not involved in torturing her,Pritilata and their daughter,Rupashree,had subjected her to physical and mental torture in his presence.

“Their daughter,Rupashree,who incited others to torture me mentally and physically,is yet to be arrested,” said Barsa.

BJD deputy whip Sanjay Dasburma said: “Mohanty’s arrest proves that the BJD government never shields anyone. The law has taken its course. Nobody is above the law.”

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