The arrest of Bitihotra Mohanty alias Bitti Mohanty, the son of former Orissa DGP in connection with jumping parole, has brought down the curtain on a seven year long hunt for a man convicted for raping a fellow student from Germany while on a trip to Alwar.
Here’s a timeline of events in this dramatic case:
Mohanty accused of raping 26-year-old German woman researcher
A 26-year-old German woman, who was a student at an institute in Gulmohar Park, New Delhi had gone to Alwar with Mohanty, who was a MBA student with her, in March 2006. The victim alleged that they had checked into separate rooms in the hotel.
On the night of 20 March, 2006 Mohanty allegedly went into the woman’s room at night and assaulted her and the next day she sent a text message to a relative in Germany, who alerted the German embassy in Delhi. Mohanty had fled from the hotel by then.
Mohanty was arrested from the Alwar railway station on 21 March and was produced in a local court the next day. He was remanded to judicial custody for 15 days.
The police had claimed that Mohanty had admitted to the crime after he was caught.
The woman had alleged that she had been receiving threatening phone calls and messages people who claimed to be from Mohanty’s family. Mohanty is the son of a DGP-rank officer Bidya Bhusan Mohanty in Orissa.
On 27 March, the woman lodged a complaint with the Delhi Police about the calls. On 31 March, a medical report was presented before a fast track court in Jaipur and trial began on April 1.
One of the fastest trials for rape in the country
The fast track court in Jaipur set a precedent when it convicted Mohanty of rape in just nine days after the trial began.
The court sentenced Mohanty to seven years rigorous imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs 10,000.
The fast track court relied on evidence including the the testimony of 16 witnesses, which included the staff of the hotel in Alwar where the German student was raped.
The German woman, however, was not present to hear the verdict, that was widely hailed.
Mohanty makes a run for it
In November 2006, Mohanty was granted parole for 15 days to leave the central jail in Jaipur to visit his ailing mother. Mohanty had been shifted from the Alwar jail to Jaipur allegedly because he was suffering from depression.
RS Chauhan, the then Director General of Prisons had used his discretion and issued parole on November 20 and Mohanty’s father had stood surety for his son.
However, soon after his father sent applications to the Jaipur jail authorities seeking more time for his son to stay out on parole to receive treatment for depression and other mental ailments.
Police officials who went to the address given in his application, that of a IAS official, discovered he wasn’t there and despite his father’s claims that he was absconding, on the scheduled date of 4 December, 2006 Mohanty failed to turn up.
Action against Mohanty’s father
A court had then issued a non-bailable warrant to Mohanty’s father and charged him with aiding his son in escaping the law. After doing a vanishing act himself and being suspended by the Orissa government, the DGP-rank official finally surrendered before a Jaipur court after the Orissa High court refused to grant him anticipatory bail.
Mohanty’s father had claimed that his son had died or must have committed suicide.
“I suspect that he is dead. Otherwise no son could have stayed hiding when his father and his family is going through such an agony,” BB Mohanty said.
Mohanty nabbed in Kerala
Mohanty was arrested posing as a probationary officer in State Bank of Travancore, the leading public sector bank in the state, with a totally new identity.
According to the bank, he had documents to support his claim that he was Raghav Raj from Puttaparthi in Andhra Pradesh. Mohanty had reportedly been a resident of Kannur for several years and allegedly even obtained an MBA degree from a local college in Kannur.
During the last two weeks, Mohanty was reportedly staying with a colleague from Bihar.
The Kerala police took him into custody after throwing a net around him so that he couldn’t escape. His capture was based on an anonymous letter which the bank received a few days ago. Apparently, Mohanty had gotten wind of the suspicion among his colleagues following the letter and was about to leave Kannur when the police closed in.
Journalists in Kannur said that he looked so different from the photos that had appeared in newspapers and TV. He looked older, had a completely different hairdo, had grown a moustache and kept long side-burns.