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Odisha chit fund scam: Pyari ‘welcomes’ CBI raid

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Nov 18:

Rajya Sabha MP and president of the Odisha Jan Morcha (OJM) Pyari Mohan Mohapatra has welcomed the CBI raid on his house this morning.

Pic: Biswaranjan Mishra
Pic: Biswaranjan Mishra

“I welcome the CBI’s investigation. It will dispel the impression that I have earned plenty of money from the scam,” said Mohapatra, the one-time mentor of Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik and ‘Margadarshak’ of the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD).

Mohapatra, however, claimed that there was no mention of the link with any chit fund company in the search warrant given to him. “That is why only the CBI can say why my residence was raided. But I welcome it because it would reveal who has looted the people of Odisha,” he said.

The Rajya Sabha MP made it clear that it was only a search operation and he was not interrogated by the CBI.

A  CBI team conducted a search in his residence at around 7.45 am and seized some documents pertaining to his bank accounts, account books of his party and his property documents, Mohapatra said speaking to the media after today’s raid on his house.

The estranged BJD leader reiterated his earlier claim that one third of the ruling party MLAs are involved in the scam.

Mohapatra was summoned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for interrogation on Monday.

While he had initially refused to make any comments on his visit to the ED office here, he later told the media that he had been called by the ED over phone to visit its office. On reaching there, he was served a summons under Sec 50 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act without which the ED cannot interrogate anyone.

He had said he was questioned by the ED for two hours and fifteen minutes to be precise and not for many hours as mentioned in some TV channels.

“It is the ED which is supposed to tell the media what it had questioned me on,” said Mohapatra while explaining that in principle it will not be wise on his part to reveal what was asked to him. It would also affect the investigation process, he said. However, without taking Seashore’s nam, Mohapatra replied in the affirmative on being questioned on Seashor. But he refused to give any details.