Home ODISHA LATEST Sexual harassment slur against Odisha MLA

Sexual harassment slur against Odisha MLA

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Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, Sep 26:

Prabhati Kandha, former chairperson of Kangra block in Nabarangapur district in Odisha today approached the State Commission for Women (SCW) and State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) seeking action against Nabarangpur MLA Manohar Randhari for allegedly harassing her.

Prabhati Kandha, accompanied by social activist Rutuparna Mohanty, after lodging the complaint at the Odisha Human Rights Commission (Photo: Biswaranjan Mishra)
Prabhati Kandha, accompanied by social activist Rutuparna Mohanty, after lodging the complaint at the Odisha Human Rights Commission
(Photo: Biswaranjan Mishra)

Lodging separate complaints with the commissions, Kandha said that Randhari, the MLA, had asked her several times to keep a physical relation with him. He had once touched her private parts and let go of her only after she raised an alarm, she alleged. A party worker knows about it, she added.

She further alleged that the MLA had taken Rs 4 lakh and 70 gms of gold from her this year for the purpose of party expenditure. When she asked him to return the money, the MLA didn’t pay and ignored her, Kandha said.

She said the MLA didn’t give her the chance to work freely for the block and always interfered in her business. “It was really embarrassing for me to work like a doll in the hand of a party chief of my constituency,” she added.

She had informed the Odisha’s Chief Minister (CM) Naveen Patnaik about Randhari’s demeanour on September 2, but in vain.

After failing to get justice from the chief minister, she took the help of law in lodging a complaint with the Tentulikhunti police station on September 15, but the police officers did not lodge an FIR.

“In the name of interrogation, the police officers harass me asking questions of very private nature. The police said they cannot lodge an FIR against the MLA and only registered a station diary,” she alleged.

“Today I have put my request before the commissions to take stringent action against the MLA,” Kandha said.

“If the State does not take any action against the MLA, I will stage an indefinite hunger strike in front of the State Assembly from the Gandhi Jayanti onwards,” she warned, adding, “If anything happens to me, the Chief Minister, the MLA and the administration will be responsible for that.”

SCW chairperson Lopamudra Buxipatra said the commission will investigate the matter soon and culprits will be punished if found guilty.