Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, Sep 15:
Three out of the four BJD legislators who were caught on camera seeking bribe from a journalist who acted as a decoy industrialist seeking to establish industries in their respective constituencies in a sting operation titled ‘Operation Blackspot’ by a web portal appeared before the Odisha Vigilance late in the evening on Wednesday.
Hindol MLA Simarani Nayak, Chhendipada MLA Susant Kumar Behera and Karanjia MLA Bijay Kumar Nayak have appeared before the Vigilance to record their statements, said a senior official of the Vigilance. However, Bhawanipatna MLA Anam Nayak was yet to appear before the Vigilance.
According to Vigilance Director General (DG) Dr. R P Sharma while two of the MLAs appeared at the anti-corruption unit’s Bhubaneswar office, one appeared at the agency’s headquarters in Cuttack.
Sharma said Bhawanipatna MLA Anam Nayak has sought time to appear before the anti-corruption unit and would appear at a later date.
According to sources, the three MLAs were questioned on their dealings with the decoy industrialist in the sting operation.
Sources further said that the Vigilance has contacted Ravi Sharma, the head of the portal leaking.in which had conducted the sting operation. He has been contacted through his wife, who is an employee of the state government. He has been asked to appear before the Vigilance, the sources added.
It may be recalled here that the Vigilance had affixed notices (latka in local parlance) thrice at Sharma’s rented residence-cum-office here to appear before it since his place was locked.
Notably, leaking.in had conducted a sting operation in which four BJD MLAs— Susant Kumar Behera (Chhendipada), Seemarani Nayak (Hindol), Anam Nayak (Bhawanipatna) and Bijay Kumar Nayak (Karanjia)—were caught on camera seeking bribe from a decoy industrialist to help set up industries in their constituencies.
The anti-corruption wing had raided the web portal’s office on September 2 besides conducting raids on the house of a cameraman Saroj Kamila at Kamarda in Balasore district and Chandrasekharpur area here.
The expose was aired by Kanak News following which Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had ordered a Vigilance inquiry into the incident.