He and his wife were arrested in West Bengal
The former Odisha Law and Urban Development Minister, Raghunath Mohanty, and his wife Pritilata Mohanty, both of whom are accused in a dowry torture case filed by their daughter-in-law, were arrested from the Shalimar area in Howrah district of West Bengal on Saturday.
Mr. Mohanty had been evading arrest ever since he resigned as minister on March 15, a day after his daughter-in-law Barsha Swony Chaudhury filed the case against him, his wife, their son Rajashree Mohanty, their daughter Rupashree and son-in-law Suvendu Madhual.
Ms. Chaudhary has alleged that the Mohanty family has been torturing her for getting, among other things, a vehicle and Rs. 25 lakh in cash. She also accused her husband of having extramarital affairs.
After their arrest by the Odisha police’s Human Rights Protection Cell, Mr. Raghunath Mohanty and his wife were produced before a court in Balasore and remanded in judicial custody. Their bail plea is likely to be heard on April 2.
The former minister had earlier moved the Orissa High Court seeking the quashing of the FIR against him, but his petition was rejected. Mr. Rajashree Mohanty, who was arrested on March 17, is in judicial custody.
The dowry harassment case has triggered a controversy in the State and rocked the Assembly, with the Congress demanding Mr. Raghunath Mohanty’s arrest.
Leaders of the ruling Biju Janata Dal, who initially said the issue was a family matter, subsequently appealed to Mr. Mohanty to surrender.
Chief Minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik removed Mr. Raghunath Mohanty, a five-time MLA from Basta in Balasore district, from the post of party vice-president.