Former BJP MLA from Odisha’s Baisinga Assembly constituency and now BJD's women's wing president of Mayurbhanj district Pramila Giri was arrested on Saturday on the charges of forging her caste certificate.
Police said Giri had alleged forged her caste certificate to file her nominations during 2004 Assembly election. Though Giri belonged to Gopala (milkman) caste under socially and economically backward caste (SEBC) category, she had produced ST caste certificate claiming her a member of Bathudi community and got elected on a BJP ticket. She represented Baisinga Assembly segment reserved for ST candidate from 2004 to 2009.
After her election, Congress leader Prabodh Kumar Panda had challenged her caste before the district collector. The case was latter referred to the State level scrutiny committee headed by Central division Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC) Arvind Padhee, who in its order on Friday had said that Giri was not a tribal though she was married to a tribal man. The scrutiny committee in its order said a person’s caste is decided
by birth and not by marriage. The order asked the district administration to initiate action against Giri. Giri's husband Rasika Chandra Giri was an ex-serviceman.
Following the instruction of the committee, Mayurbhanj district welfare officer Rajiv Kumar Sahu lodged a complaint with Badsahi police station seeking action against the former MLA.
Officer-in-Charge of Badasahi Police Station Sandhyarani Beuria said Giri had been arrested under section 467 (forgery), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged document or election record) and 420 (Cheating) of IPC.
Contacted, Giri however rubbished the allegations. Terming it a conspiracy by her rivals in the political circle to tarnish her image, she said she would take up the matter with the high court.