Odisha Actor-turned-MP Anubhav Mohanty Booked for Assaulting Journalist, Spitting in Her Face

Mohanty, who was elected to the Lok Sabha from Kendrapara after defeating BJP heavyweight Baijayant Panda, denied the allegations.

Bhubaneswar: An FIR was registered against Anubhav Mohanty, actor-turned-MP of Odisha’s ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD), on Friday for allegedly assaulting a woman journalist who had come to his house to complain about his younger brother having allegedly eve-teased her.

After the 29-year-old journalist submitted a four-page written complaint at Purighat police station in Cuttack, a case was registered under Sections 294 (obscene act in public), 354 (A) (sexual harassment), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 34 (criminal act) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against the MP, said police sources.

Mohanty, 37, was elected to the Lok Sabha from the coastal Kendrapara constituency after he defeated BJP heavyweight Baijayant Panda by a margin of 1.52 lakh votes. Before this, Mohanty was a BJD Rajya Sabha member after he was elected unopposed in June 2014.

The journalist in her complaint said she had been facing severe and frequent eve-teasing by Anuprash Mohanty and his friends over the past two years while on her way to the office of a local Odia newspaper. “When he (Anuprash) did it on June 12, I decided to go to his elder brother, an elected MP, to complain. But the MP and his wife Barsha Priyadarshini meted out inhuman treatment to me outside their house at Chaudhary Bazar in Cuttack,” she said.

“The MP used unprintable words to abuse me and even threatened to hang me there in public. He pushed me around and hit me. He then called the police to take me away. After I sat in the police van, he came near the window and spat directly in my face,” said the journalist, a mother of a young child.

The woman added that the police had "willfully ignored" her previous written complaint at Purighat station. “The officer-in-charge had informed Anubhav Mohanty of my complaint and called him to the police station. I have the video clips of those incidents. But the police took no action against the MP’s brother,” she said.

“I expect that the police of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who respects women so much, will take action against the MP for such brutal behaviour with me. If the police take no action, I shall approach the women’s commission for justice,” she said.

Anubhav Mohanty, however, dismissed the charges. “These allegations are totally baseless. I called police when I saw her shouting outside my residence and they took her away,” said the MP who has been the highest-paid actor in Odia movie industry for several years.