Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, Sep 10:
As part of its ongoing investigation into the mega chit fund scam in Odisha, the CBI today grilled Sanjay Behera, secretary of Football Association of Odisha (FAO) and son of Odisha Cricket Association (OCA) honorary secretary Asirbad Behera, and Manoj Dash, a city-based businessman and owner of a regional television channel, about their alleged financial deals with the AT Group.
The interrogation of Behera and Das follows conclusive evidence unearthed by the CBI during its ongoing probe about huge investments by the AT Group in the Odisha Premier League (OPL) tournaments conducted by the Odisha Cricket Association (OCA).
Behera senior, it may be noted, has already been questioned on the OCA’s dealings with the tainted chit fund company.
Though Sanjay does not hold any key post in the OCA, the Central agency today interrogated him on his links with the AT Group and its chief Pradip Sethy, sources in the CBI said.
Sanjay was quizzed in particular about the business deals of OCA with the AT Group during OPL, 2011 and about his link with company directors, the sources added.
The CBI also interrogated Dash about the money he had received from the AT Group chief to launch a TV channel in the State.
Sources said that AT group had paid Rs 90-lakh for a business deal to utilize Dash’s Teleports as the group was preparing to launch six TV channels in the State.
The CBI sleuths also quizzed former AT Group director Sagar Ray and the company’s co-founder and founder of Swastik India Multi-State Cooperative Agency Ranjan Das about their links with politicians, apart from the businessman, media persons and sports administrators. They were asked how much money the company had given to influential persons to run their business, said the sources.
Resuming Tuesday’s interrogation, the CBI asked several questions to Bikash Swain, owner of Odia newspaper ‘The Suryaprava’, who is on a 14-day remand, about his other businesses with the chit fund company. Besides, he was also quizzed about his purchase of a franchise of the Odisha Premier League (OPL) and taking money from the ponzi firm in the name of advertising through his newspaper and advertising agency.
The CBI would interrogate another Odia daily newspaper owner in connection with the AT Group, reliable sources in the agency said.
On Tuesday, the probe agency had quizzed the franchise holders of the OPL. The sleuths had interrogated members of the OCA, directors Bismay Kumar Mohapatra and Deba Prasad along with accountant of the Orisons Overseas Company, which had purchased the Puri Emperors team during the OPL auction in 2011.