The Odisha police on Friday booked a newly elected BJD MP and his family members on the charge of assaulting and sexually harassing a woman journalist who had gone to his residence to complaint against his brother for passing lewd remarks at her. The case was registered against Kendrapara MP Anubhav Mohanty, his younger brother Anuprash and the MP's filmstar wife Barsha Priyadarshini after the journalist, Sashmita Acharya, lodged a written complaint against them, police said.
The BJD leader rejected the allegations against him and his family members, though he admitted that the woman had come to his residence to make a complaint. "A case under Sections 294 (obscene acts), 354-A (sexual harassment), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) of the IPC has been registered against the three persons, including the MP, named in the FIR," said Purighat police station IIC Rashmi Ranjan Sahu.
In her complaint, Acharya said Anubhav's younger brother had been passing lewd comments at her for several days and when she visited the MP's house at Choudhury Bazar here on Wednesday evening to complain about it, Anubhav and his wife assaulted her. Police said they were aware about the incident.
"The police had to rush to the MP's house after hearing about it and accompanied the woman journalist to her home," Sahu said. Sahu said the statement of the complainant was recorded and the police would soon question all the accused persons. The MP, however, dismissed the accusations. "Since it was late in the night, we told her to come later but she started shouting. I called up the police and she was taken away from my house," Mohanty said.
"The allegation is baseless and motivated. It is a news for me that she has lodged a police complaint. Let an investigation take place about it," Mohanty said. The incident came barely days after a newly elected BJD MLA in Balangir district was booked for forcing junior engineer to do sit ups in full public glare..
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