BJD leader charged of sexual harassment, arrested

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Senior BJD leader Pramod Kumar, who is also the president of Kendrapara Credit Co-Operative Society, was on Monday arrested on the charge of sexually harassing a female colleague, police sources said.

A team of police personnel, led by Additional Superintendent of Police B Gagarin Mohanty, picked up Sahu from his residence in Baniamal area of Kendrapara district on Sunday night. He was subjected to hours of interrogation before his arrest, they said.

"Sahu was arrested on Monday morning under various sections of the IPC, including section 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and 506 (criminal intimidation)," Mohanty told reporters.

The former BJD state general secretary was then produced before the Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate Court, which remanded him in judicial custody for 14 days.

In her complaint, the woman alleged that Sahu had sexually harassed her on several occasions at their place of work. She also said that the police had initially ignored her written complaint, submitted in April, and refused to register a case against the BJD leader.

The complainant, who has resigned from her service, then approached the court, which directed the police to register a case in the matter.

"Sahu threatened me with dire consequences when I refused his advances. I have provided my call record details to the police and the media as evidence... I have full faith on the judiciary," she said.

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