Former Odisha minister Raghunath Mohanty and his wife were arrested from West Bengal 15 days after daughter-in-law filed a dowry harassment complaint against his family, said police.
"He and his wife Pritilata Mohanty were arrested form a place in Howrah district of West Bengal by a team of Human Rights Protection Cell of Odisha police," Director General of Police Prakash Mishra said.
On March 14 Mohanty's daughter-in-law Barsha Sony Mohanty filed a complaint against the ex-MLA alleging physical and mental torture for dowry. According to her, the Mohantys demanded ₹25 lakh cash and a Scorpio car a few days after the marriage. She also wrote in her complaint that at the time of marriage her family gave ₹10 lakh worth of cash and jewellery as dowry.
Following the complaint, the ruling Biju Janta Dal (BJD) leaders submitted his resignation to the state chief minister Naveen Patnaik.
BJD leaders appealed to him to surrender, but Mohanty kept evading the police for more than two weeks. However, the Human Rights Protection Cell of Odisha successfully nabbed him and his wife from Salimar in Kolkata.
With the issue spiralling into a major controversy in Odisha and rocking the Assembly amid demands for Mohanty's arrest, the ruling BJD leaders that initially described the case as a family affair, appealed to Mr. Mohanty to surrender.
The opposition Congress alleged that the government shielded him, thus facilitating his escape.
The DGP informed that his arrest was a result of intensive investigation that involved taping of around 50 telephones. He also said that Mohanty and his wife took a couple of flats on rent in the same complex since March 20 in the name of different persons.
After the arrest, Barsha thanked the police. "I am happy to certain extent... Two more persons need to be arrested (Mohanty's daughter and her husband) need to be arrested. All of them were equally responsible for torturing me," she said.