Court sends ‘Odisha Bhaskar’ owner on 10-day CBI remand

Odisha Sun Times Bureau

Bhubaneswar, Sep 15:
The special chief judicial magistrate today allowed the CBI, which is investigating the multi-thousand crore chit fund scam in Odisha, to take proprietor of Odia newspaper ‘Odisha Bhaskar’ Madhu Mohanty on a 10-day remand for interrogation on his suspected complicity in the Artha Tatwa (AT) Group scam.
Photo: Biswaranjan Mishra
Photo: Biswaranjan Mishra
The court rejected the bail application moved by his lawyer.

The court also completed the hearing on the bail application of Manoj Das, a local television channel owner, but reserved its verdict for tomorrow.

Both Mohanty and Das were arrested by the CBI for their suspected complicity in the AT Group scam on Sunday after several rounds of interrogation.

Curiously, while the CBI had sought to take Madhu Mohanty on remand for 10 days, it had made no such move in the case of Manoj Das.

Earlier in the day, the CBI had raided the residence and office premises of Madhu Mohanty.

In another significant development, leading news channel OTV, quoting reliable sources, reported that former government chief whip and BJD MLA from Banki Pravat Tripathy has moved the Odisha High Court for an anticipatory bail.

Tripathy’s houses at Banki and Cuttack, it may be remembered, were recently raided by the CBI in connection with the chit fund scam and his links with the AT Group. The Banki strongman is said to be very close to Ranjan Dash, director of Swastik India Multi-purpose Credit Cooperative Society, another chit fund company, who was recently arrested by the CBI. Tripathy is also said to be close to another person grilled by the CBI, Ashish Sahu, BJD office bearer.

Nearly a year ago, an audio recording of a purported conversation between Tripathy and AT group CMD Pradip Sethy, had surfaced in the media. But the crime branch which was probing the chit fund scam before the CBI took over, never really pursued the matter with any seriousness or questioned him.

In the audio, a voice strongly resembling Tripathy’s was heard asking Sethy to send money through a close confidante of his for a local cultural festival.

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