Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Sept 14:
The CBI team today arrested the owner of Odisha-based television channel Kamyab TV Manoj Dash and the owner of Odia newspaper Odisha Bhaskar Madhu Mohanty for their alleged involvement in the ponzi firm Artha Tawa Group’s financial fraud.
Both were re-summoned by the CBI on Sunday and subjected to a marathon interrogation before being arrested, reports said.
Ashish Sahu, a member of the state executive committee of the ruling Biju Janata Dal, known to have been very close to some influential BJD MLAs and ministers, was also interrogated for over four hours by the CBI for his alleged links with the AT Group.
Sources in the CBI said a list of 44 politicians to be summoned by it for interrogations has already been prepared.
Reports that six of them happen to be members of Naveen Patnaik’s cabinet is doing the rounds. The names of some MLAs, ministers, sons of ministers, former ministers and a former Union minister are also said to have figured in the list.
The list has been prepared on the basis of information provided to the CBI by AT Group CMD Pradip Sethy and the group’s accountant Srikrushna Padhi during interrogations, sources said.
Chief minister Naveen Patnaik’s name has also been dragged into the inquiry process for allegedly protecting the ponzi scamsters and promoting their illegal business.
Reacting to several BJD men being interrogated by the CBI and their houses being raided for alleged links with the chit fund scam, former Finance minister and senior BJD leader Prafulla Ghadei said “One should not try to shift the blame on others. I feel some people, who are now under the cloud of suspicion, should go for a self introspection (atma samikshya).”