Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, Dec 14:
The CBI today grilled Jagabandhu Panda, former director of Artha Tatwa (AT) Group, about his alleged links with senior Odisha police officer Pramod Panda, sources in the agency said.
During a raid on November 18, the CBI had seized some incriminating documents, including the charge sheet filed against Jagabandhu Panda, from the residence of Pramod Panda, a DSP in Crime Branch, in Bhadrak. Jagabandhu is reportedly the nephew of Pramod.
Notably, Crime Brnach was the agency that was investigating the chit fund before the CBI took over the probe under Supreme Court orders in May this year.
Panda has also been accused of threatening Alok Jena, the petitioner whose PIL in the apex court led to the CBI taking over the probe, in New Delhi and that too whtin the premises of the Supreme Court. Jena has filed two FIRs and his wife one against Panda for tersspass, unauthorised surveillanec and criminal intimidation.
CBI has got some definite clues about the AT group funds having been diverted to an account of a computer centre in the city which was run by Pramod’s close aide, an official of CBI informed.
The central investigating agency may summon Pramod Panda for interrogation in connection with his alleged links with the AT group and Jagabandhu.
Apprehending arrest, the Crime Branch officer had applied for anticipatory bail in the High Court. After completing hearing, the Court has reserved its verdict on his plea.
Jagabandhu, a major player in the Odisha chit fund scam, is on a nine-day CBI remand for interrogation in connection with the dubious dealings with AT group. He will be produced before the CBI court here again on December 20 after completion of his remand period.
Commissionerate Police had arrested Panda on May 28 last year in connection with the Rs 500- crore financial scam perpetrated by the company.
Panda, a resident of Balasore who had joined AT Group in 2008, allegedly embezzled nearly Rs 100 crore from the company before floating another money circulation company named Swastik India along with some former AT Group employees in 2011.