BJD MP 'regrets' his behaviour towards journalist

BJD MP Anubhav Mohanty. (File Photo)

A day after being booked for allegedly misbehaving with a journalist, BJD MP Anubhav Mohanty on Friday "regretted" his behaviour towards the reporter during an event at his Kendrapara constituency.

According to an FIR lodged at Kendrapara town police station by journalist Manoj Swain of a private news channel, the actor-turned-politician had on Tuesday abused him and pulled him by his arm in full public view when the reporter sought the MP's comment on a newly-announced project.

Swain had sought police protection, alleging that the MP and his supporters have issued threats to him.

However, Mohanty wrote in a social media post, "I have highest regards for media and I have all along cooperated with journalists. Whatever happened two days ago was unfortunate and unintentional. I regret that."

His statement came hours after Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik was questioned over the Kendrapara MP's alleged ill-treatment towards a journalist.

"I will certainly look into it," Patnaik had told reporters while leaving for his four-day visit to the national capital.

Noting that the incident has "pained and saddened" him, Mohanty targeted his political rival Baijayant Panda over it.

Swain works for private channel OTV, which is owned by the family of Panda.

"OTV news channel, owned by the family of Baijayant Panda has been assassinating my character besides irritating and insulting me. I request Baijayant babu not to do so and stop troubling me while I am serving the people of Kendrapara," Mohanty said in a video uploaded on social media.

The incident came five months after another woman journalist had filed a complaint against Mohanty and his brother at Purighat police station in Cuttack.

The MP was booked on the charge of assaulting and sexually harassing the scribe.

Journalists and political leaders across Odisha have been demanding action against Mohanty.

While ruling BJD is silent over the issue, Leader of Opposition Pradipta Kumar Naik of the BJP said his party will raise the issue in the Assembly when the winter session commences on November 13.

Ridiculing Mohanty, Congress MLA Taraprasad Bahinipati said, "Naveen babu (Patnaik) should add another T to his 5T policy. The 6th T is probably 'Torture' of media persons."

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