Former Odisha Law Minister Raghunath Mohanty broke down after he met his son Raja Shree Mohanty inside Balasore district jail. While Raja Shree is already lodged in the jail on the charges of dowry torture since March 18, Raghunath and his wife Pritilata landed in the jail on Saturday.
The senior BJD leader and his wife were brought to the jail at about 2.15 pm and given normal jail food after they were treated with all prison formalities meant for under trial prisoners (UTPs). Arrested for torturing their daughter-in-law for additional dowry, they were produced in the SDJM court at about 1.45 pm.
Jail sources said Raghunath entered into the jail with his folded hands and greeted the jail staffs as usual. "He appealed us not to honour him like a politician and urged to treat him like a normal prisoner. He did not speak much as he was unwell. He wanted to show him his cell," said a jail official.
The former minister, the official said, broke down after he met his son and spoke to him for a few minutes. His wife Pritilata, who is in female ward, too turned emotional for a moment. "Raghunath in fact cried a lot and did not take much food. He took one roti and mix vegetable curry with fried vegetable in the lunch and roti and curry in the dinner," he said.
Sources said Raghunath was admitted in jail hospital after he complained of high blood pressure and heart trouble. Jail physician Nurul Hassan said the former minister had an old history of BP and blood sugar along with heart complications. "The medical reports of a private hospital, he possessed, indicates he is under treatment since long. We have provided him medicines and he has been kept under observation," the physician said.
Meanwhile, the complainant Barsa Swony Choudhury has expressed her pleasure and appreciated the efforts of HRPC officials. "We are happy that all the prime accused persons are now behind the bars. Now they will realise they are not above the law. I request the officials to arrest two other family members - daughter Rupashree and son-in-law Suvendu Madhual who had equally tortured me, immediately," she added.
On the other hand, Raja Shree was once again remanded in judicial custody for 14 days after he was produced in the SDJM court on Saturday following the completion of his two weeks remand period. While his initial remand period was to complete on Monday, he was produced two days before as April 1 is an holiday.
Barsa's counsel Amar Ballav Nanda said his bail plea was rejected and he was sent two more weeks in judicial custody. Raja Shree's bail plea is pending for hearing before the district and sessons judge. He had applied for bail once again after a similar attempt was rejected on March 21. His bail petitions also were rejected twice in the SDJM court.