Growing atrocities against women in the State again cropped up in the Assembly on Monday with the Opposition members raising the issue of yet another rape in Bhandaripokhari in Bhadrak district.
The Opposition also raised the issue of former minister Raghunath Mohanty, who has not attended Assembly since the day he resigned from the Cabinet over charges of dowry torture brought against him and his family members by his daughter-in-law.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik should give a statement in the House on his whereabouts as the members have a right to know, Congress member Santosh Singh Saluja said.
Raising the issue during zero hour, Saluja said for the last eight to 10 days, the former minister is not attending House and an FIR has been filed against him in the town police station at Balasore for alleged dowry torture.
The next day Mohanty went to Naveen Nivas and tendered his resignation, but described the charges against him as false and fabricated, Saluja said and added that he has not attended House since then.
The Congress member said the Speaker should also have information regarding the member who is not coming to the House for so many days, Saluja said and wanted to know whether Mohanty has been kidnapped. In the past also, a member was kidnapped and he was released after ransom money of Rs 2 crore was paid. “We have a right to know where is Mohanty,” Saluja asked.
Mohanty resigned on ‘moral grounds’ on March 15 after his daughter-in-law filed a dowry case against him and his family members. The former minister, who is also the vice-president of the BJD, has not attended the Assembly since that day even as the Opposition parties have demanded his arrest.
Criticising the State Government for the growing crime rate, leader of the BJP Legislature party (BJPLP) Jayanarayan Mishra alleged that a minor girl was raped in Bhandaripokhari. Alleging that rapes have now become a daily occurrence, Pratap Chandra Sarangi (Ind) demanded strong action against the culprits.