By Our Correspondent
KENDRAPARA/BHUBANESWAR: Justice delayed but not denied. Finally, law of the land caught the so called mighty of ruling BJD in Kendrapara town, Pramod Sahu, Party’s State secretary and President of Kendrapara Credit Cooperative Society on Monday.
Sahu after interrogation basing on an FIR filed against him by a women employee of the Society, was arrested by the Kendrapara Town Police, sources said.
Sahu was picked up by a team of police led by Additional SP B Gagarin Mohanty from his residence at around 11.30 pm on Sunday and brought to the Town Police Station for interrogation. On Monday morning, the accused was taken to the Kendrapara District Headquarters Hospital (DHH) for medical check-up.
According to reports, Sahu is accused of sexually harassing a woman employee of the cooperative society. He was detained based on a complaint by the victim at Kendrapara Town Police Station. She turned up at the police station on April 30, 2019 alleging that the chief of the co-operative society has been repeatedly harassing her. However, the police had refused to file the case against Sahu.
Later, the victim moved the sub-divisional judicial magistrate (SDJM) Court that directed Kendrapara Town Police to register a case in this regard.
The Kendrapara SP Niti Sekhar forced to take action against the powerful BJD leader after ADG (HRPC) SM Narvane and DIG (Central Range) Ashish Singh expressed their displeasure the way district police taking the issue.
Sources said a Police team led by Kendrapara Town PS IIC Jyoti Ranjan Samantray and Special Investigating Officer Antaryami Biswal picked up Sahu from his residence and interrogations going on in an undisclosed locations.
The women’s wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will stage demonstrations across Odisha on November 5 to protest against the rising crimes against women in the State.
“We will stage demonstrations in front of offices of all District Collectors on Tuesday. Women are not safe in the Biju Janata Dal (BJD)-ruled state,” BJP Mahila Morcha president Pravati Parida said here.Citing several instances; she alleged that BJD leaders are involved in several crimes against women.
Parida said they will protest against mysterious killing of Jajpur district”s Haridashpur Panchayat Executive Officer (PEO) Smitarani Biswal and sexual harassment meted out to a woman by the Kendrapara Credit Cooperative Society president Pramod Kumar Sahoo.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is opting double yardstick on harassment to women at work place. The BJD Government on Saturday suspended Rayagada DFO Debarchan Behera under on charge of sexual harassment while the same Government keeping silent on a complaint filed by a women employee of Kendrapara Credit Cooperative Society against its President Pramod Sahu, who also happens to be the State secretary of the ruling party.
The DFO was though also involved in corruption cases but there are too also several such irregularities in Kendrapara Credit Cooperative Society and even 7 to 8 employees left jobs due to the sex hungry attitude of President Sahu. Meanwhile, the probe panel has said that Pramod Sahu will be issued notice to appear in connection with the case. No comments on the allegations have been received from Pramod Sahu & BJD. Earlier, a women Journalist Sasmita Acharya of Cuttak had filed an FIR against Kendrapara BJD Lok Sabha MP Anubhav Mohanty and his brother Anuprash Mohanty but in that case too, all, Naveen , CMO and BJD kept silent.
The DFO, who is an OFS office, has been accused of sexually harassing women staff at workplace which is a violation of the provisions under Conduct Rules for Government Servants, the CMO said while the same office silent on what going on in Kendrapara, CM Patnaik father Biju Babu’s Karmabhumi.
It is punishable under the sections of Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition & Redressal) Act, 2013.Apart from the State Government, many such sexual harassment incidents also took place in private offices.The authorities of private offices should also take a cue from the State Administration and punish the persons involved in sexual harassment at the work place.
The woman who has filed FIR against BJD leader Sahu said: “I am receiving death threats through various channels to withdraw the complaints against Pramod Sahu and they are claiming that he is a very powerful man and can do whatever he wants. Even he (Sahu) himself has also threatened me saying, he is the State Secretary of BJD, so do whatever you can.”
The woman employee of Kendrapara Credit Cooperative Society who brought allegations of workplace harassment against the society president, Pramod Kumar Sahu, alleged that she has been receiving threats.
“I have been receiving death threats through various channels to withdraw the complaints against Pramod Sahu and they are claiming that he is a very powerful man and can do whatever he wants. Even he (Sahu) himself has also threatened me saying, he is the State secretary of BJD, so do whatever you can,” the lady employee said in an exclusive interview to OTV.
Threatening to commit suicide if denied justice, the lady employee said, “It has been six months since I lodged a complaint in this regard but I presume that pressure must be mounting on the cops resulting in inaction.”
Narrating the torment she had to face while working at the credit cooperative society, the complainant said, “Pramod Sahu always used to sexually harass me despite my protests. Often he would show lewd behaviour on pretext of seeking my help in helping him understand mobile functioning. He used to touch me inappropriately and also lure me with gifts and promotions. He also invited me to his farmhouse where he forced me to maintain physical relationship with him. When I resisted his advances, he threatened to rape and murder me. I was absolutely shocked to see such behaviour since he was a man of my father’s age.”
Earlier, the lady employee appeared before a four-member team of Local Complaints Committee (LCC) set up by the Kendrapara district administration where her statements were recorded. She also submitted all documents, CDs and evidences to the team.