Reported by Ssantosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, Dec 17:
The long wait of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to interrogate former Odisha Crime Branch (CB) Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Pramod Panda on his alleged links with the Artha Tatwa (AT) Group and Jagabandhu Panda, former director of the chit fund company, came to an end this evening when it grilled him for nearly two hours.
Panda entered the CBI office on a bike wearing a helmet to escape the prying eyes of mediapersons at around 5.15 pm and left after two hours of intense interrogation. He left the CBI office hurriedly avoiding the media waiting to question him on his interrogation.
Yesterday, the CBI had sent a summons notice to Panda now serving as DSP in DIB section of Nayagarh district police headquarters, asking him to appear before it for interrogation.
CBI was unable to call Panda for interrogation earlier because the anticipatory bail petition moved by him was pending in the Odisha High Court in Cuttack. But with the Court having rejected the plea on Moday, the decks were cleared for the CBI to issue the summons.
The CBI interrogated Panda face to face with Jagabandhu Panda, his relative who is already in CBI custody, in an effort to find their dubious links with the chit fund company.
On December 12, the CBI took Jagabandhu on a nine-day remand for questioning.
During a raid on November 18, the CBI had seized some incriminating documents, including the charge sheet filed against Jagabandhu, from the residence of Pramod Panda in Bhadrak.Pramod, who was suspended in February, is currently posted in Nayagarh following revocation of his suspension.
Pramod had allegedly threatened the petitioner in the chit fund scam, Alok Jena, whose PIL in the apex court led to the CBI taking over the probe, in New Delhi and that too within the premises of the Supreme Court. Jena has filed two FIRs while his wife had filed one against Panda for trespass, unauthorized surveillance and criminal intimidation.
Notably, Crime Branch was the agency that was investigating the chit fund before the CBI took over the probe under Supreme Court orders in May this year.
CBI has got some definite clues about AT group funds having been diverted to an account of a computer centre in the city which was run by Pramod’s close aide, an official of CBI informed.
The central probe agency also suspects that the chit fund accused diverted money to the account of a relative of the DSP, who runs a computer appliances store in Bhadrak.