The Odisha government on Saturday tried to distance itself from the arrest of former DGP BB Mohanty's son from Kerala, but senior police officers and bureaucrats sympathised with the father and even believed Bitihotra was a "victim of circumstances".
Odisha DGP Prakash Mishra said, "He (Bitihotra) has been arrested by the Kerala police for impersonation and it is up to the Rajasthan police to take forward the case of rape for which he was convicted and sentenced to seven years' imprisonment."
A senior Odisha police officer, however, sided with Bitihotra. "His case was fraught with discrepancies. Media hype led to his conviction in one of the quickest trials, overlooking many vital aspects just because the girl was a foreigner and the accused was the son of a top police officer," said the officer who declined to be named.
Bitihotra was granted a 15-day parole in November 2006 to visit his ailing grandmother, but jumped the parole and disappeared. Odisha government suspended Mohanty, then DG (home guard and fire services), after he was accused of helping his son jump parole. Mohanty finally surrendered in January 2008 and was granted bail a day later. He was reinstated in May 2009 and retired a yearlater.