Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, June 11:
Three senior executives of Hotel Trident arrived at the Nayapally police station in Odisha’s capital city today for questioning in connection with the prolonged stay of P K Iyer, vice-chairman of the Deccan Chronicle (DC) Group in the hotel under an assumed name.
The three officials of Hotel Trident who are presently being grilled at the Nayapally police station are HR Head Bauribandhu Padhi, Corporate Security In-charge (all India) R Verma and House Keeping In-charge of Trident Bhubaneswar Manjit Kaur. These officials were served with notices by the police for interrogation in connection with the case.
However, general manager (GM) of the hotel Abhimanyu Lodha, who was also served summons by the Commissionerate Police for questioning in connection with the case, did not turn up at the police station and sent his counsel instead.
The counsel told the police that his client will not be able to attend the summons today and sought ten days’ time. Police, however, has insisted on Lodha’s attendance at the police station today since he had given his consent to attend, said sources in the police.
Sources in the police said the Trident executives are being interrogated on their links with Iyer and why they did not inform the police of his stay in the hotel though he was staying there in the name of a woman Chitra Athwani. They are also being questioned on why they did not submit the occupancy chart of the hotelto the police on a daily basis as required under the law.
Based on an intelligence input, Iyer was arrested from Hotel Trident by the Commissionerate Police in the wee hours on June 7 in connection with a Rs 357 crore bank loan fraud case.
Iyer was living in Room No 220 of Trident Hotel allegedly under the assumed name of Chitra Athwani for close to two months. He had also allegedly stayed incognito in Kolkata and Port Blair before coming to Bhubaneswar.
Commissionerate Police had registered a case against the hotel on June 7 and has charged it with harbouring a criminal and criminal conspiracy.
Bhubaneswar Deputy Commissioner of Police Satyabrata Bhoi had on June 7 said that a case had been registered against the hotel authorities and against Iyer. “The hotel management is accused of providing accommodation to a wanted criminal, who had been staying in the hotel for the past few months on a fake identity,” Bhoi had said.
However, Hotel Trident authorities on June 9 clarified that they were not aware that DC Group vice chairman P K Iyer was wanted by the CBI and said they will cooperate with the police in their investigations.
“P K Iyer was an esteemed regular customer of our hotel; we had no knowledge that he was wanted by the CBI. He had checked in with a woman relative of his. The room was booked in her name. We will cooperate in the process of investigation,” the hotel authorities had said in a statement.
Commissionerate Police launched its investigation into the prolonged stay of Iyer in Hotel Trident under an assumed name on June 9. It issued summons to the hotel authorities, examined documents of the hotel and interrogated its staff.