Cuttack, Dec 19 :
With none of the accused arrested till date in the Cuttack relief loot incident even two months after the state Vigilance department began its probe, people have reasons to suspect the whole exercise to have been an eyewash.
Interestingly, while the case is being tried at a special Vigilance court and the Vigilance department have already submitted the case diary to the designated court, the accused have gone scotfree and reportedly sought anticipatory bail from the High Court to avoid arrest.
Though a case has been registered against them under non-bail able sections since December 9, neither have they been arrested by the Vigilance nor has the government initiated any disciplinary action against them.
The four officers against whom the Vigilance has registered cases are former commissioner of Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) Nihar Ranjan Mahapatra, former deputy commissioner cum relief officer of CMC Jagnarayan Kujur, deputy secretary Nirmal Kumar Nayak and recovery officer Bijay Kumar Dash. The case has been registered against them under sections 13 (2) R W, 13 (1) (C) (D) of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 and sections 409, 102 (B) of the Indian Penal Code.
It may be noted that the Odisha government had ordered a vigilance inquiry after it was alleged that relief material was looted from the premises of CMC on October 13. It also transferred the then CMC commissioner Nihar Ranjan Mahapatra while suspending the then deputy commissioner cum relief officer of CMC Jagnarayan Kujur.
Strange as it may sound, Nirmal Nayak and Bijay Kumar Dash accused under the same sections of the law continue to attend their office at the CMC and no action has been taken against them as yet.
While the Vigilance department had raided the houses of 29 persons in connection with the case, eight of them had failed to provide satisfactory explanation about the relief materials collected by them. They have also applied for anticipatory bail in the High Court, reports said.
The BJD had suspended its city president Madhusudan Sahu in the relief loot case but no action has been taken against other accused persons in the case.
All this have led the people to believe that the Vigilance inquiry ordered by the government was basically meant to hoodwink the public at large. The idea, people suspect, was a diversionary tactic and the government never wanted to take the perpetrators of the criminal act to task.