Bhubaneswar: With former Odisha Law minister Raghunath Mohanty refusing to respond the ruling BJD's call for surrender, a large number of women Congress activists courted arrest while demanding Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's resignation.
They also asked the state government to declare Mohanty an "absconder" and confiscate his properties. Scores of women activists, under the leadership of State Women Congress president Bijaylaxmi Sahu, participated in a demonstration here demanding immediate arrest of Raghunath Mohanty.
The former Law minister has been evading arrest after he resigned as a minister on March 15, a day after his daughter-in-law Barsa Swony Choudury lodged a dowry torture case. The Chief Minister or the police has no information regarding whereabouts of Mohanty.
The ruling BJD, through its Chief Whip Pravat Tripathy, had on Wednesday given a call to Mohanty in hiding to surrender
as there was no alternative left for him. However, Mohanty did not respond to the party's call.
The women Congress agitators on their way to Naveen Niwas, the residence of the Chief Minister, were intercepted by police at Raj Mahal Square here and taken to custody.
"It was duty of the Chief Minister to order the police to arrest Mohanty as soon as he tendered resignation. But, Naveen allowed Mohanty to escape and abscond," said women Congress president Bijaylaxmi Sahu while courting arrest.
Seeking justice for Barsa, the agitators alleged that it was a clear case of shielding a dowry torture accused by the state government.