Patnagarh MLA arrested by police in sit-up case

Bolangir: The district police today arrested BJD Patnagarh MLA Saroj Meher following his detention for allegedly forcing a Public Works Department (PwD) engineer to do sit-ups. Later, he was produced before the Additional District Judge (ADJ) court.

Earlier this morning, the legislator was detained by the police in Nuapada and brought to Bolangir for questioning.

“Today, we have arrested the MLA under various IPC sections 341,353,500 along with Atrocities Act and further investigation is on,” said Bolangir SP, K. Siva Subramani.

It is pertinent to mention that in a report to the State government, Bolangir Collector Arindam Dakua had stated that due to sub-standard road construction work, the Patnagarh MLA punished Junior Engineer Jayakanta Sabar in public in Belpada area and directed the engineer-in-charge to slap the JE.

On June 6, a video purportedly showing the BJD MLA forcing the JE to do sit-ups hundred times within five minutes had gone viral.

Though the newly elected MLA tendered an apology, a day after the incident, a case was lodged against him on the basis of a complaint filed by the engineer’s wife against the newly elected legislator accusing him of publicly humiliating her husband. Police sources said the case has been registered under different sections of the IPC and SC, ST Atrocities Act.

Demanding action against the legislator, the District Tribal Welfare Association had threatened to gherao the Odisha Assembly on June 26.

“Other persons who instigated the MLA should be taken to task also,” said advisor of Bolanir district Tribal Welfare Association, Satyanarayan Bhoi.

BJD spokesperson Sasmit Patra said, “The party believes that law should take its own course and this has happened in this case too.”

Meanwhile, Patnagarh MLA Saroj Meher was sent to jail after his bail plea hearing was deferred till July 1.