Odisha: BJD MP's wife accuses him of torture; moves court
Actor-turned-politician and Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MP Anubhav Mohanty has been accused of domestic violence and torture by his wife, Odia film actor Varsha Priyadarshini. Priyadarshini has filed a petition in the Sub Divisional Judicial Magistrate (SDJM) court at Cuttack. Notably, Mohanty is BJD's deputy chief whip in the Lok Sabha and also serves as a national spokesperson for the party.
Both popular lead actors in the Odia film industry, Priyadarshini and Mohanty had gotten married in 2014. The couple also acted in many movies together. Mohanty, considered as one of highest-paid actors in Odia films, was elected as a BJD Rajya Sabha member in 2014. Last year, he was elected to the Lok Sabha from the Kendrapara constituency, after having defeated BJP's Baijayant Panda.
In her complaint, filed under Section 12 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, Priyadarshini has alleged that Mohanty used to hit and abuse her in drunken state. She has also accused the parliamentarian and his family members of not allowing to her to continue working in films. Priyadarshini also accused her husband of being a womanizer.
Recounting recent experiences, Priyadarshini said that she was left alone at her in-law's house in Cuttack for two months during the lockdown. She alleged that on June 7, Mohanty and his father rebuked her in "filthy language" for hours. "On June 11, my husband asked me to agree for mutual divorce and threatened me with dire consequences if I did not agree," she added.
In her petition, Priyadarshini has urged the court to direct Mohanty to pay compensation for the loss of her income, medical expenses, rent money and monthly maintenance, amounting to Rs. 15 crore. The case was registered on August 7 and the first hearing is scheduled to take place on Monday, September 7, according to reports.
In addition to the said petition, Priyadarshini has also filed a separate petition under Section 6 of the Hindu Marriage Act for restitution of conjugal rights. However, Mohanty has denied receiving any legal notice in this matter. "I have not received any notice in the matter, so I can not comment," the parliamentarian has reportedly said.
Last year, a police complaint was filed against Mohanty for allegedly assaulting a woman journalist. However, he had denied the allegation at that time. In another incident, the MP was accused of misbehaving with a local television journalist.