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Odisha chit fund probe tardy, petitioner tells CBI chief

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Odisha Sun Time Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Sept 24:

Social activist Alok Jena, the petitioner in the Odisha chit fund scam case in the Supreme Court, and RTI activist Jayant Das today met with the CBI director Ranjit Sinha in New Delhi on Tuesday to express their unhappiness over the tardy progress of the CBI investigation in the state.

Petitioner Alok Jena and RTI activist Jayanta Das after meeting the CBI director in New Delhi
Petitioner Alok Jena and RTI activist Jayanta Das after meeting the CBI director in New Delhi

During their meeting lasting about 40 minutes, they pointed out that while CBI is conducting its probe on the Saradha chit fund scam in Bengal with a 300-strong team, it has no more than five officers, including the SP, investigating the Odisha financial fraud that is much bigger in dimension and implication.

They also drew the attention of the CBI  director to the fact that the two lawyers engaged by the agency have personal and professional links with the one of the accused in the case, former advocate general Ashok Mohanty who was arrested by the CBI on Monday, Jena told OST over phone from New Delhi.

Jena said he appealed to the CBI director to engage officers from outside the state in the investigation because he suspected that many top Odisha police officers, who were entrusted with the investigation into the scam before the CBI came in, were not only a party to the huge financial fraud, but have also gone out of their way to protect the offenders.

The two activists demanded that the role of the chief minister Naveen Patnaik in the mega chit fund scam be probed because there is ‘material evidence’ which need to be followed up.

The duo later met with senior Supreme Court lawyer Shyam Divan, who was appointed  as the amicus curiae by the apex court in the PIL on Odisha chit fund scam.

Jena said Divan shared their concern and frustrations over the slow and directionless progress of CBI investigation in Odisha and advised them to stay prepared to knock on the doors of the apex court in case they do not see any improvement in the investigation process.