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CBI grills another BJD leader on chit fund scam

Adding to the embarrassment of the Naveen Patnaik led Biju Janata Dal (BJD), yet another party leader Ram Chandra Hansda faced interrogation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on the multi-crore chit fund scam.

The central agency today quizzed Hansda, the BJD MP from Mayurbhanj, on his alleged links with the chit fund firm Nabadiganta Capital Services.

Hansda appeared in the CBI office today at around 10 am and was grilled for about four hours. The CBI is understood to have interrogated him on his role as the director of Nabadiganta Capital Services and the timing of his resignation from the company.

“Whatever information and facts I had to offer, I have already given it to the CBI. Since the matter is sub-judice, I cannot comment on it now. The involvement of anyone will be decided in the court”, Hansda said.

State unit president of Congress youth wing Rajat Chaudhury was also interrogated by the CBI today. But his links with any Ponzi firm operation is yet to be established.

The CBI had extensively interrogated BJD MLA from Banki and former party chief whip Pravat Tripathy for his alleged links with the Artha Tatwa (AT) Group, a key player in the chit fund scam. Tripathy was last week denied anticipatory bail by the Orissa High Court in the matter.

BJD leader Pratap Jena clarified the complicity, if any, of individual leaders is not going to tarnish the BJD’s image.

Earlier, in the course of its investigation, the CBI had found the involvement of Hansda in the operation of Nabadiganta Capital Services. Later, the agency had raided his house at Baripada on July 31 and seized Rs 28 lakh cash. The CBI had also raided the houses of former BJD MLA, Subarna Naik and a former BJP legislator, who had stints as directors of the chit fund firm.

In the aftermath of the raid, Hansda had clarified that one of the officials of Nabadiganta Capital Services had approached him in 2011 to have an insurance policy.

The MP had said, he and five others had separately bought eight per cent share in the company while the rest 52 per cent shares remained with the original owner of Nabadiganta.

Hansda had also admitted that he had paid Rs seven lakh to Nabadignata when the company was in distress. Of this, the company had returned only Rs one lakh.

“Despite my repeated requests the company did not return my money. In November 2012, I resigned from the company but the company accepted it only in May 2013. I had not pressed for the acceptance of my resignation, only because I was hoping to get back my money”, Hansda had said earlier.

Established in August 2011, Nabadiganta Capital Services had collected several crores of rupees from around 20,000 depositors.

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