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Odisha chit fund scam: Son of arrested cop, ZICA manager appear before CBI

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Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, Dec 23:

The son of arrested DSP Pramod Panda and the manager of Zee Institute of Creative Arts (ZICA), Bhubaneswar Centre, Ashok Kumar Senapati, appeared before CBI here this evening for interrogation.

Pic: Biswaranjan Msihra
Pic: Biswaranjan Mishra

Sources in the CBI said the interrogation veered on diversion of the Artha Tatwa (AT) group funds to the account ZICA which is being run by Gitanjali Panda, the wife of Pramod.

The duo appeared before the CBI at around 7 pm.

CBI had got the clue on the link between ZICA and the AT Group during a raid on the residence of the DSP in Bhadrak on November 18.

Talking to OST, the ZICA manager said the centre, which offers courses in animation, multimedia, visual FX, computer graphics and web editing, is a franchisee of the Zee Learn Group.

Launched in 2004-05, ZICA has its head office at Sahid Nagar and a divisional office at Niladri Vihar in the state capital and sub divisional offices in Baleswar.

ZICA’s Saheed Nagar head office issues certificates to the students , Senapati added.

Asked about ZICA’s links with the AT Group and the money invested by the tainted company in the computer centre, he said, “I have been dealing with the educational part for 10 years now. But it is Mrs Panda who deals with the financial aspects.”

He also said while Pramod Panda used to visit the centre once in a while, his wife has not visited the centre in the last two weeks.

The Niladri Vihar ZICA centre was closed down in June this year while the Prativa Devi School of Nursing is presently running there.

The central investigating agency is now interrogating Pramod to ascertain the details of the amount taken by him from the AT Group to facilitate land deals in Baleswar and diversion of funds from the chit fund company to ZICA.