BJD MP 'regrets' his behaviour towards journalist

BJD MP 'regrets' his behaviour towards journalist Bhubaneswar, Nov 8 (PTI) A day after being booked forallegedly misbehaving with a journalist, BJD MP AnubhavMohanty on Friday 'regretted' his behaviour towards thereporter during an event at his Kendrapara constituency.

According to an FIR lodged at Kendrapara town policestation by journalist Manoj Swain of a private news channel,the actor-turned-politician had on Tuesday abused him andpulled him by his arm in full public view when the reportersought the MP's comment on a newly-announced project.

Swain had sought police protection, alleging that theMP and his supporters have issued threats to him.

However, Mohanty wrote in a social media post, 'I havehighest regards for media and I have all along cooperated withjournalists. Whatever happened two days ago was unfortunateand unintentional. I regret that.' His statement came hours after Chief Minister NaveenPatnaik was questioned over the Kendrapara MP's alleged ill-treatment towards a journalist.

'I will certainly look into it,' Patnaik had toldreporters while leaving for his four-day visit to the nationalcapital.

Noting that the incident has 'pained and saddened'him, Mohanty targeted his political rival Baijayant Panda overit.

Swain works for private channel OTV, which is owned bythe family of Panda.

'OTV news channel, owned by the family of BaijayantPanda has been assassinating my character besides irritatingand insulting me. I request Baijayant babu not to do so andstop troubling me while I am serving the people ofKendrapara,' Mohanty said in a video uploaded on social media.

The incident came five months after another womanjournalist had filed a complaint against Mohanty and hisbrother at Purighat police station in Cuttack.

The MP was booked on the charge of assaulting andsexually harassing the scribe.

Journalists and political leaders across Odisha havebeen demanding action against Mohanty.

While ruling BJD is silent over the issue, Leader ofOpposition Pradipta Kumar Naik of the BJP said his party willraise the issue in the Assembly when the winter sessioncommences on November 13.

Ridiculing Mohanty, Congress MLA Taraprasad Bahinipatisaid, 'Naveen babu (Patnaik) should add another T to his 5Tpolicy. The 6th T is probably 'Torture' of media persons.' PTIAAMACD ACD