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Odisha chit fund scam: Pravat Biswal, wife grilled by CBI for five hours

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Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, Nov 21:

Already reeling under the impact of the CBI spotlight on many of its leading lights, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), the ruling party in Odisha, had more cause for worry on Ffriday when Choudwar-Cuttack MLA Pravat Biswal and his wife Llaxmi Bilasini were grilled by the CBI office for hours on their alleged links to the chit fund scam in the state.

Pravat Biswal facing questions from the media on Friday night after a five-hour long grilling by the CBI   (Pic: Biswaranjan Mishra)
Pravat Biswal facing questions from the media on Friday night after a five-hour long grilling by the CBI
(Pic: Biswaranjan Mishra)

Biswal, however, claimed that he and his wife were only questioned about a piece of land they had sold to the Seashore group.

Emerging after a marathon, five-hour long interrogation at the hands of CBI officials, Biswal said he and his wife were essentially questioned about the land deal.

“My wife had a piece of land measuring 32 ‘gunthas’ at Benapur village in Jajppur district, which she sold to the Seashore group in 2011,” he said.

Asked whether the land was sold to the Seashore group or its CMD Prashant Dash, the Choudwar-Cuttack MLA said it was the former.

His wife Laxmi Bilasini, however, gave a different spin to the land deal saying while the papers had been readied for the sale, the land was never sold.

CBI officials believe no such land deal ever took place and the papers shown by the Biswals could have been prepared later to justify the transfer of money from the Seashore group to them.

Biswal reached the CBI office at about 3.55 pm, about an hour and half after his erstwhile mentor Pyari Mohan  Mohapatra left the premises after a marathon, four and a half hour long grilling on his alleged links with the Seashore group, and left past 9 pm..

Two hours after Pravat went in, his wife Laxmi Bilasini Biswal, former chairperson of the Cuttack zilla parishad, appeared in the CBI office with some documents.

Shortly therefater, Animesh Biswal, a relative of Pravat also went in with some documents inside an envelop.

Notwithstanding his denia,l Biswal, like his erstwhile mentor, was questioned about his alleged links with the Seashore group, CBI sources said. He was questioned in particular about some industrial plots in the Jagatpur indusrtial area in Cuttack that Seashore acquired and a tourism project on boat ride on Mahanadi in Cuttack for which Seasshore had signed an MoU with the state government, the sources said.