Even as the Opposition Congress and BJP members wanted to know what steps the State Government has taken against former minister Raghunath Mohanty over the dowry torture allegations made by his daughter-in-law, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday ignored the issue leading to walkout by both the Opposition parties in the Assembly.
Initiating the debate on the demand for grants of the Home department, Congress chief whip Prasad Harichandan wanted to know how could the minister escape arrest after the Chief Minister accepted his resignation at Naveen Nivas.
This has led to people raising questions on the role of the Opposition in the House, Harichandan said and added that even the daughter-in-law of the former minister, Barsha Sony, has also wanted to know why nobody other than Raghunath’s son has been arrested in the case so far.
Leader of BJP Legislature Party (BJPLP) K V Singhdeo alleged that the case has been handed over to the Human Rights Protection Cell (HRPC) of the police only to allow Raghunath and other family members to walk free after three months. Questioning the separate yardstick applied in this case involving a BJD leader, Singhdeo wanted to know whether the former minister has been declared an absconder. “If he is an absconder, what step the State Government has taken’’, Singhdeo said and added that as per law, a person’s property is attached after he is declared an absconder.
Congress member Santosh Singh Saluja criticised the State Government for the growing atrocities against women in the State and the low conviction rate. Saluja demanded that more fast track courts should be set up to try cases related to women. He said a separate cadre should be created for public prosecutors (PPs) and additional public prosecutors (APPs) to improve the conviction rate. Criticising the State Government for its failure to contain the Naxalite activities, Saluja alleged that Naxalites, who were confined to two or three districts some years ago, have now spread to more than 20 districts in the State. Jaynarayan Mishra (BJP) criticised the politicisation of police force in the State. The police force no longer belongs to the State Government, it has become private force of the BJD, he said.