Odisha police arrest BJD leader for ‘sexually assaulting’ woman at party office
The woman said Chandrakant Mohapatra called her for the completion of some formalities to get a house under a state government housing scheme.india Updated: Jan 19, 2018 14:58 IST
A Biju Janata Dal leader was arrested by police on Friday, a week after a woman accused him sexually assaulting her at a party office in Odisha’s Jajpur district on the pretext of providing her with a house under a state government scheme, officials said.
Jajpur superintendent of police Charan Singh Meena said Chandrakant Mohapatra, the cousin of senior party leader Saroj Mohapatra, was arrested from Keonjhar district of the state. Mohapatra, 32, was absconding after the woman filed a complaint with the police earlier this week.
The incident took place on January 11 around 9pm, but the victim lodged a first information report at Mangalpur police station on Monday afternoon. The medical examination of the woman was conducted and her statement recorded before a magistrate at a local court under Section 161 and 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).
Mohapatra reportedly raped the woman, a mother of two girls, at the party’s office in Dasarathpur block. The woman said Mohapatra called her for the completion of some formalities to get a house under the Biju Pucca Ghar Yojana, a state government housing scheme started in 2008.
The woman, who was deserted by her husband six years ago, alleged that Mohapatra told her about a scheme specifically designed for women like her.
“He told me that I would get Rs 2 lakh under the new scheme as well as a house under Biju Pucca Ghar Yojana. Though I was unwilling to go at night, he pressurised me to come,” the woman, who has been living with her widowed mother, an Anganwadi worker, said.
“When I entered the office he asked me not to sit on the chair but sit on the bed. After I sat on the bed, he grabbed me by the back and assaulted me,” she added.
President of the Jajpur district unit of BJD Saroj Mohapatra refuted the allegations, saying there is no party office in Dasarathpur region.
The state’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) women’s wing unit chief Pravati Parida earlier alleged that the state government was trying to protect accused.
The state-funded Biju Pucca Ghar Yojana, a housing scheme was launched 10 years ago for people in rural areas whose names do not find a place in the BPL list but are poor.
Preference is given to poor women in distress, physically challenged, mentally challenged, victims of domestic violence, destitute widows, women-headed households, adult orphans of government registered institutions, victims of leprosy and AIDS.