Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, Nov 4:
The CBI today arrested BJD MP Ramchandra Hansda and former MLAs Subarna Nayak (BJD) and Hitesh Bagartti (BJP) on charges of their links with the financial fraud committed by the Odisha-based chit fund firm Nabadiganta Capital Services.
All three were summoned by the CBI today, for the third time in 12 days, for interrogation. The last time they were questioned was on October 26, when they had been grilled for nearly for hours.
Ramachandra Hansda is the secretary of the BJD parliamentary party in the Lok Sabha. Hitesh Bagartti and Subarna Nayak were denied tickets by the BJP and the BJD respectively in the last general elections.
In a statement a CBI spokesperson said, “Mr Ramchandra Hansdah BJD (MP, Lok Sabha), Mr Hitesh Kumar Bagartti ( ex-MLA, BJP) and Mr Subarna Nayak, ex-MLA, BJD) have been arrested by CBI SIT in Naba Diganta Group case in Odisha Chit Fund cases on allegations of criminal conspiracy and diversion of funds.”
There is, however, no clarity on whether the three leaders would be forwarded to the court today or tomorrow. A source said they may be forwarded tomorrow as the courts are closed today for Muharram.
The CBI had raided the residences of the three politicians in July and had seized some documents, besides Rs 28 lakh in cash from Hansda’s Rairangpur residence. Hansda had initially claimed that it was his won money, but later said it belonged to his supporters before finally saying today that part of it belonged to the BJD.
Chairman cum Managing director (CMD) of the company Anjan Kumar Baliarsingh and two directors — Kartikeya Parida and Pradeep Patnaik — were arrested Oct 26. They are in jail after a special CBI court rejected their bail plea Nov 1.
Today’s arrests mark the second major crackdown on politicians allegedly involved in the chit fund scam. Last week, the CBI had arrested BJD MLA from Banki Pravat Tripathy, who is currently on a 14-day CBI remand.