Reported by Simanchal Pattanaik
Phulbani, Mar 19:
Residents of Phulbani, the headquarters of Kandhamal district in Odisha, were witness to an unusual scene this morning.
A man was seen hurrying out of the Women’s Support Center inside the premises of the office of superintendent of police (SP) and getting into his car when a young woman blocked his way and tried to stop him.
As curious bystanders looked on, the woman kept pleading with the man to stop, crying all the time. But the man, by now inside the car, showed no signs of obliging.
The woman fainted at the spot but even that did not deter the man from speeding away. The woman was sprayed with water and nursed back to senses, but the man was gone by then.
Some quick inquiry revealed that it was a case of a relationship gone sour. The woman, a government employeee posted in Morada in Mayurbhanj district, has accused Sanat Kumar Nayak, the Block Development Officer (BDO) of Chakapada block, of reneging on his commitment to marry her after an affair that lasted three years.
In her complaint lodged with the State Women’s Commission (SCW) and Kandhamal superintendent of police (SP) Kanwar Vishal Singh, 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 alleged.
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 yesterday.
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,” said Kalpana Mohanty, counsellor for the Women Support Centre.
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 on what action needs to be taken: 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,” said SP Kanwar Vishal Singh.
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,” he said.