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Odisha chit fund scam; OCA accountant, broker, BJD youth leader grilled by CBI

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Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, Sep 13:

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)  grilled Odisha Cricket Association (OCA) Accountant MA Ahad, broker Dharmendra Bothra and BJD youth leader Biswaranjan Khatei alias Bapi this evening about their alleged links with the AT group and its Chief Pradip Sethy.

OCA accountant MA Ahad at the CBI office in Bhubaneswar on Saturday (Pix: Santosh Jagdev)
OCA accountant MA Ahad at the CBI office in Bhubaneswar on Saturday
(Pix: Santosh Jagdev)

The investigation agency asked Ahad about the huge investment of AT Group in the Odisha Premiere League (OPL) 2011 conducted by OCA, sources in the CBI said.

“I appeared before the Central agency today. They asked me several questions related to money transactions during OPL 2011 and about the visit of Michael Bevan, former Australian cricketer in January 2011,” said Ahad. Ahad also said he handed over several documents related to this to the CBI.

In its biggest ever high-profile appointment, OCA had roped in Bevan as chief coach of the state Ranji Trophy Team for 2011-12. The former Aussie great had agreed to render his services for five months (October 2011 to February 2012) through an agreement.

As per his agreement with OCA, the cricketer was paid $35,000 per month on pro-rata basis for his work for the Association, excluding the expenses on account of his hotel accommodation, living cost, flight charges, etc, OCA sources said.

M/S Artha Tatwa Infra (India) Ltd, part of the AT Group, extended its helping hand in sponsoring Rs 50 lakh for the Ranji Trophy Team for 2011-12, the sources added.

Bothra was again interrogated about his land deal with the BJD MLA from Dharmasala in Jajpur district and BJD strongman Kalapataru Das’s son Pranab Balabantaray, CBI sources said. Balabantaray had bought a plot of land in Jaydev Vihar area in the state capital in 2003, but later sold it off to Bothra.

Khatei, a youth leader of BJD was quizzed for more than one and a half hours by the CBI to extract information about two youth leaders in the ruling party, who had taken huge donations from Sehty through him.