Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Sept 3:
The attempt of the Commissionerate Police to shield top political leaders, bureaucrats, police officers, journalists and other influential persons involved in the mega Odisha chit fund scam has come to light after the sensational deposition by the AT Group chief Pradip Sethy before the CBI on Tuesday.
The AT Group chief, during his interrogation on Tuesday, told the CBI that the Commissionerate Police had pressurized him to give a second statement without naming any political leaders and other influential persons, a document which was submitted in the court.
He said he had provided the names of political leaders and other influential persons and details of the money and gifts they had taken from his company in his first statement but that was suppressed by the police.
Sethy also gave the details of the police officers who had pressurized him to change his statement to ensure the involvement of political leaders do not get linked with the scam.
Reliable sources said that the CBI, on the basis of the interrogation, would grill some top cops and officers of the police stations who were investigating the case.
With the remand period of Sethy ending today, the CBI has decided to move the court to extend his remand by another 10 days as its investigation into the other activities of the company is yet to begin.
The CBI in the meanwhile, has found conclusive evidence on the close link between Sethy and a BJD minister of Ganjam district, a youth BJD leader of Puri district, a senior BJD minister of undivided Cuttack district and a former minister of undivided Koraput district.
The investigation has revealed that the AT Group had not only collected money from the people through the chit fund, but also had collected huge amounts from them by promising them residential plots and flats.
Out of the total money received from the depositors, the company had invested around Rs 300 crore in real estate business.
Several realtors, most of whom have either closed down their business or have become bankrupt, had taken money from the AT Group for purchase of land and construction of apartments.
Though the Commissionerate Police were aware of this, they had not taken any action against these builders. Apart from this, the police had also not taken any step to confiscate the other properties of the AT Group.