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HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014

Ex-Odisha minister's son arrested in dowry case

Priya Ranjann Sahu, Hindustan Times  Bhubaneswar, March 17, 2013
First Published: 10:48 IST(17/3/2013) | Last Updated: 19:12 IST(17/3/2013)

Two days after senior Biju Janata Dal leader Raghunath Mohanty resigned as law minister in Naveen Patnaik government in the wake of dowry harassment complaint by his daughter-in-law, the Human Rights Protection Cell of Odisha police on Sunday arrested his son on charge of torturing his wife.

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HRPC team raided several places in Balasore district before nabbing Mohanty's son Raja Shree Mohanty near Cuttack.

"We are interrogating him and will produce him before a court in Balasore on Monday," HRPC and crime branch additional director general BK Sharma told reporters in Cuttack.

Raja Shree Mohanty (28) had married Barsha Soni Choudhury (23) in June 24, 2012.

On March 14, Barsha lodged a complaint in the Balasore town police station, about 200 km east of Bhubaneswar, alleging that Mohanty, his wife, son, daughter and daughter-in-law tortured her physically and mentally as her parents failed to meet their dowry demand of Rs. 25 lakh cash and a Scorpio vehicle.

Her police complaint cost Mohanty, one of the senior most in chief minister Naveen Patnaik's cabinet holding the portfolios of law, housing and urban development and information technology, his job the next day.

Soon after receiving Mohanty's resignation, Patnaik transferred the case to HRPC. 

Opposition Congress and BJP criticised the move saying that transfer of the case to HRPC was meant to protect Mohanty, considered close to Pattnaik.

Barsha and her family also did not favour the chief minister's move saying they had full faith inn the local police. 

After  Raja Shree's arrest, Barsha said: "Raja Shree was not the only person who tortured me. Other family members (including Mohanty) should also be arrested immediately."

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