Reported by Simanchal Pattanaik
Phulbani, Mar 21:
A woman, who was ditched by an Odisha government official, finally succeeded in her effort as she married him at the sub-registrar office in the district headquarters here this morning.
The marriage was solemnised after the woman and the Block Development Officer (BDO) of Chakapada, Sanat Kumar Nayak exchanged garlands in presence of the media and senior district officials at about 11 AM.
Soon after the marriage, the woman was admitted to the district headquarters hospital as her health condition had deteriorated in the last three days.
“We have admitted her to the hospital as her health condition has deteriorated”, Umakanta Pradhan, IIC of Phulbani Town Police Station told OST.
Talking to the media after the marriage, the woman expressed her gratitude to the media for whom marriage could be solemnised.
“We set aside the misunderstandings between us and decided to marry”, said the BDO who had absconded after the incident came to light two days ago.
“The couple today applied for marriage today and the marriage would be registered within a month”, said Sumanta Kar, Marriage Officer.
It may be mentioned that Sanat had gone into hiding since Thursday’s incident of vain attempts by a young woman to stop him outside the Women’s Support Centre inside the premises of the office of superintendent of police (SP) here.
While the woman was kept in a hotel here under police security, she was determined in her resolve not to relent till Nayak accepts her as his wife. The young woman, a government employee posted in Morada in Mayurbhanj district had on Thursday accused Nayak of reneging on his commitment to marry her after an affair that lasted three years.
“Why is he hiding? It clearly shows what’s going on in his mind. I am not going to leave this place. I am going to sit in dharna in front of the collector’s office. I am not going to budge from here till I get him”, the distraught woman had told reporters on Friday.
Meanwhile, chairperson of State Women’s Commission (SCW) Lopamudra Buxipatra had a three-hour counselling of the victim in the presence of district collector N Thirumala Nayak and SP Kanwar Vishal Singh at the circuit house here on Friday. While the SP suggested the victim to lodge an FIR against the BDO, the latter said she wanted amicable solution. “I could have lodged the complaint against Sanat much earlier. I have requested him to take a decision in two days after consulting the SCW. If nothing comes out, I will move the appropriate forum to take up the issue”, the victim pointed out.
“As I understand she had been also taken to the Women’s Support Centre, I will enquire from all whom she had met and the Commission would take necessary action after find out the truth”, Buxipatra told the media later.
When asked about the matter, the district collector said he has apprised the state government of the absence of the BDO, who has absconded since the incident has come to the limelight, and take necessary action in this regard.
In her complaint lodged with the SCW and the district SP, the woman has alleged that Nayak sexually exploited her for years with the promise of marriage, but was now trying to wriggle out of the relationship and marry someone else.
She claimed they had already married in a temple and even showed photographs to back her claim.
The relationship that originated through a chance phone call flourished with an online friendship on popular social networking site Facebook before culminating in a sexual relationship, the woman had alleged on Thursday.
After hearing that Nayak was about to get married to someone else, the woman landed in his native village Lathore in Bolangir district on March 12 in a bid to persuade him, but to no avail.
The matter then reached the Bolangir SP, but she did not get any succour there either. In sheer desperation, she then came to Phulbani and met the SP with her woes on Wednesday.
The SP sounded out the counsellors of the Women Support Centre and called both of them for counselling in a bid to find a solution to the problem. But midway through the session, the BDO left the room in a huff.
“The BDO asked for 10 days’ time to settle this issue, but backed out from a written commitment. When the woman said she did not accept the verbal commitment and insisted on a written assurance, he left the meeting abruptly. Given that the girl has been neglected and tortured mentally, we will provide her with all possible assistance and ensure justice is done to her,” Kalpana Mohanty, counsellor for the Women Support Centre had said on Thursday.
The SP said he had ordered an inquiry into the issue and would take appropriate action after getting the report.
“I have asked a lady inspector to inquire into the incident immediately. Based on the report of the inquiry, we will decide whether legal action needs to be taken or just counselling. We have also instructed the Women Support Centre to provide necessary counselling. The accusation is against a government official. We will take action as per law,” the SP had said on Thursday.
On his part, the BDO has flatly denied the allegations made by the woman.
“It’s a lie. Everything will be proven at court. I will say whatever I have to say at the court. I have no physical relation with her. She is lying,” Nayak had claimed.