BJD MP, two ex-MLAs held in chit fund scam

CBI to produce trio before court, ask for their remand

BJD MP, two  ex-MLAs held in chit fund scam

Rama Chandra Hansda, a sitting MP of the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in Odisha was on Tuesday arrested by the CBI in connection with the multi-crore chit fund scam.

The premier investigating agency took the Lok Sabha member representing tribal-dominated Mayurbhanj into custody for his alleged links with the state-based tainted chit fund company, Navadiganta Capital Services. The controversial company’s managing director and two directors were recently arrested by the CBI.

This is the second major political arrest in the state in connection with the chit fund scam. Only last week, the CBI had arrested senior BJD MLA Prabhat Tripathy for his alleged links with another chit fund company, the Artha Tatwa (AT) group. The CBI is probing into activities of more than 40 chit fund companies in Odisha under the direction of the Supreme Court.

The arrest of the two senior party leaders, that too both sitting lawmakers, has turned out to be a major embarrassment for the Naveen Patnaik-led regional outfit. Along with Hansda, the CBI also arrested two former MLAs - Subarna Naik (BJD) and Hitesh Bagartti (BJP) - for their alleged links with the same company.

The three leaders were summoned to the CBI office here on Tuesday morning for interrogation and were arrested after three hours of questioning. Sources said, the trio will be produced before a special court here after the mandatory medical examinations.

The investigating agency is expected to request the court to take the three politicians on remand for a few days for further investigation. Before Tuesday, the MP and the two former MLAs were questioned by the CBI twice before. The trio’s houses had also been raided by the probe agency. During the raid, Rs 28 lakhs were recovered from Hansda’s residence.

Earlier, talking to media all the three leaders had admitted that they were part of the tainted chit fund company but had resigned from its board long back, dissatisfied over the company’s activities.

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