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Home > India > News > PTI

Orissa: 'Victim' goes missing, police probe Speaker case

March 31, 2008 09:03 IST

A day after a case of sexual abuse was registered against Orissa Assembly Speaker Maheswar Mohanty, the complainant lady marshal remained untraceable. The police on Saturday recorded the statement of her neighbours while the government promised lawful action.

Lady Assistant Marshal Gayatri Panda, who had lodged an FIR of sexual harassment against the Speaker, remained untraced and her residence in Bhubaneswarwas found locked by a police team, Deputy Commissioner of Police Amitabh [Images] Thakur said.

"Police officials recorded the statement of Panda's neighbours after finding her house in unit-8 area locked," he said.

But she would have to cooperate with the police in the investigation, as her statement was vital for the probe to progress, the DCP pointed out.

"Since we are unaware of her whereabouts, a team will visit Panda's village at Mahanga," Thakur said.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday asserted that his government always stood for proper action as per law. "Whatever is lawful will be done," he told reporters.

Patnaik, however, skirted queries about the possibility of the Speaker's resignation in the wake of registration of the criminal case against him at the Mahila police station. He said that the government had proposed a probe by a House Committee but the opposition did not cooperate.

The Speaker, who has denied the charge of sexual abuse, promised to cooperate with the police in the investigation.

Meanwhile, a group of women activists staged a demonstration in Bhubaneswar and burnt effigies of Panda, accusing her of making false allegations against Mohanty.

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