Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, Sep 11:
The ongoing CBI probe into the Odisha mega chit fund scam got into the business end of the exercise late on Wednesday night when the agency started grilling Pranaba Balabantaray, Dharmasala MLA and son of BJD strongman Kalpataru Das.
Balabantaray reached the CBI office here around 10.30 pm and was closeted with CBI sleuths inside till midnight.
Coming out of the CBI office shortly after midnight, the Dharmasala MLA said he was questioned about the purchase of a piece of land in Bhubaneswar.
“They had asked for the documents pertaining to a piece of land I had purchased in Jayadev Vihar and I handed it over to them,” he said declining to provide any further details about the interrogation.
Soon after he went in, the main gate of the office was closed forcing media persons to wait outside for some information to trickle in.
Though it was not clear what exactly he was being questioned on, sources said the interrogation centred around his links with the AT group, which has emerged as a key player in the multi-thousand crore chit fund scam in the state.
In particular, Balabantaray was grilled on his purchase of the Jayadev Vihar, which the CBI suspects was bought with money paid by the AT group, the sources said.
The Dharmasala MLA is the first BJD leader to be interrogated in connection with the chit fund scam though two other leaders had been raided by the agency earlier. The CBI had raided the house of Mayurbhanj MP Ramachandra Hansda and Banki MLA Pravat Tripathy.