Mayor’s defamation suit: Hearing begins on show-cause notices

Bhubaneswar: The hearing on show-cause notices served in connection with the defamation suit filed by Bhubaneswar Municipality Corporation (BMC) Mayor, Anant Narayan Jena began today at the Bhubaneswar Civil Judge Senior Division Court.

President of the students’ wing of Congress party, Itish Pradhan and owner of Niakhunta.com, Pradeep Pandi appeared before the court today. Itish, Pradeep and a TV channel who have responded to the show-cause notices served to them, demanded expeditious hearing of the case, informed sources. On the other hand, four other parties named in the suit have sought time to respond.

“I demand an impartial probe and I will help in finding out the truth by giving all the required information when my statement is recorded under section 164 of CrPC. If the video is examined at the central forensic laboratory, the truth will definitely come out” said Itish Pradhan.

“All the controversy will end if the video is examined. It is necessary to put an end to the sequence of events which have been taking place,” said Pradeep Pandi.

Meanwhile, the political clamour demanding resignation of Mayor failed to die down with BJP continuing its ‘Janta Darbar.’ The saffron party alleged Mayor’s involvement in a viral sex clip and links with Rishi’s murder through songs as a part of its Janta Darbar campaign today.

Also Read: Rishi death: Woman’s statement recorded, BJP holds Janata Darbar, Cong rally on Jan 4

“People have already recorded their statements under section 161 of CrPC. But why the CM is silent on the matter? This is condemnable and till the time the Mayor is not removed from his post, we will continue to approach the people to apprise them and they will give a fitting reply to the chief minister,” BJP spokesperson, Golak Mohapatra said.

In response to these allegations, BJD spokesperson, Surya Narayan Patro said “The parents of the Rishi are pointing fingers towards his friends. In such a scenario how action can be taken against an innocent person?  I don’t know, but I am saying this on the basis of reports.”

On the other hand, the Mahila Congress today lodged a complaint at Capital Police Station against the girl and Snigdha Sahoo, who accompanied her to Odisha Human Rights Commission. The Mahila Congress lodged a complaint alleging that Snigdha Sahoo identified herself as a Congress member and filed a complaint against Itish Pradhan.

“She has falsely identified herself as an active member of the Congress party. She is not with the Congress party and for her false claims, we have submitted an FIR. We have demanded her arrest for fraudulently representing herself,” said Congress block president, Ashok Das.

On the investigation side, the investing officer in the Rishi murder case today interrogated another friend of Rishi.