BHUBANESWAR: A former woman employee of Air Odisha has levelled rape charges against founder of the airlines and lodged a complaint against him at Khandagiri police station here on Wednesday. The married woman, hailing from Kolkata, reached the city in the morning and lodged the complaint in which she stated that founder of Air Odisha Aviation Private Ltd Santosh Pani had raped her on August 10 and 12.
The complainant had joined the regional airline on July 2 as a security supervisor. She said, on August 10, Pani offered her a lift to her rented accommodation near Punama Gate here and on the way stopped near a liquor outlet. Pani consumed alcohol in the car and also offered her cold drinks laced with sedatives, she claimed.
“Pani had harassed me inside the car on August 10 evening before forcibly entering my house and raping me. On August 11, I left early from the office, but on August 12 he again offered me a lift till my residence and instead of dropping me home he took me to one of his friend’s house in Khandagiri where he raped me again,” said the woman.
Currently working with Air Deccan, the woman told mediapersons here that she had joined Air Deccan’s Kolkata office on September 6 and informed the officials there that her former employer had not cleared her dues.
She was accompanied to Khandagiri police station by Air Deccan’s chief of security Taufiq Ahmed.
“We have registered a case and recorded her statement,” said Khandagiri police station IIC Himanshu Swain. Police are trying to verify about Pani’s friend about whose house the woman had mentioned.
On being asked why did the woman take so long to lodge a police complaint in this regard, Ahmed claimed that the woman told them Pani was very influential and she could not garner the courage to approach the cops.
Meanwhile, Pani has rejected the allegations against him. “The woman was asked to leave the company for her lack of understanding with her colleagues and inefficiency in work. All the allegations levelled against me are completely baseless,” he said.