Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Orissa Assembly failed to proceed beyond fourteen minutes on 22nd August. Despite stout denial of the charges by the Deputy Speaker Mr. Prahllad Dora in the Press, his daughter-in-law Smita’s allegations were too serious to be ignored by the Opposition in the floor of the House.

Smita has lodged a complaint with the Police at Jeypore against Dora alleging that he had deliberately suppressed the fact that his son was already married and having a wife before he conducted the marriage of his son Chinmoy with her around one and a half month ago.

The marriage fixed at a dowry of Rs.1 lakh eventually made Smita’s father Subas Majhi cough up Rs.2 lakhs in cash over and above the ancillaries like gold ornaments and household gadgets; but to her, most unbearable is her shattered status as a legitimate wife.

She is, in the eyes of law, an illegitimate wife in view of her husband’s earlier marriage.

When she protested against this foul play and demanded for production of the court order of separation, if any, between Chinmoy and his first wife, she was tortured and kept in house arrest, she has alleged. When Dora has denied this part of her allegation, he has kept mum on the issue of first marriage of his son.

Smita is apprehensive of sloughing over of the allegation by police, as Dora being a political heavyweight, the Police have not yet shown any promptness in investigating the matter. Rather the police seemed to be very inclement, she has alleged. Therefore, she is considering knocking at the door of Orissa Women’s Rights Commission.

Her parents wonder as to why a respected politician like Dora could resort to such nasty tricks and ruin their daughter by tying her up in marriage to his son, who was already married? Was dowry the only motive?

The members of the ruling coalition are trying to hide their embarrassment even though there is no dearth of their opposition to Opposition’s demand for action against the Deputy Speaker as is marked in the hit generated over the issue that led to adjournment of the Assembly to August 25.

Chief Minister Navin Patnaik, as is his wont, has stoically stated that the law will take its own course in this matter. But he has no guts to react on Smita’s allegation that she has lost confidence in the Police, as it has not taken up investigation in the matter so far.

Why the Police are sleeping, as apprehended by the victim? When the Law shall start taking its course? Should not the CM apprise the House of that?

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