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CBI arrests 3 officials of Naba Diganta in chit fund scam case

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), probing into multi-crore chit fund scam in Odisha since August this year, today arrested three key officials of Naba Diganta Capital Services Ltd, a chit fund firm in connection of with allegation of non-refund of over Rs seven crore collected from the depositors.

The officials include Anjan Kumar Baliarsingh, chairman-cum-managing director (CMD) and two directors of the company, Kartikeya Parida and Pradeep Patnaik.

“We have been arrested as we had raised money from the public. But we have not done anything wrong”, said Baliarsingh soon after his arrest at CBI office here after a three-hour long interrogation.

All three were produced before the court after their health check-up at a state-run hospital here.

According to allegations, the company had collected about Rs 15 crore through its branches located in undivided Puri and Cuttack districts between 2011 and 2013. Though it had refunded Rs 7.30 crore to some depositors, the rest amount has not been returned.

During the interrogation today, the central probe agency also summoned three politicians in connection with their involvement in the formation of the chit firm. Ramachandra Hansda, Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MP from Mayurbhanj, Subarna Nayak, ex-BJD MP from Keonjhar and Hitesh Bagarti, former Nuapada MLA of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were grilled separately and then brought face-to-face with Naba Diganta officials by the CBI, but none of the politicians was arrested.

The CBI had asked them to clear allegations about their involvement in the formation and operation of Naba Diganta Capital Services Ltd.

“I had made an investment of Rs 3 lakh as bond in the company just like any other depositor and nothing else. I cannot divulge any more detail at this point”, Hansda told the media after his interrogation.

Earlier this year, CBI had raided Hansda’s residence at Rairangpur in Mayurbhanj district and seized Rs 28 lakh cash. When grilled about the money today, the MP said, it was his own money kept for renovation of his house.

BJP leader Bagarti said, he was being implicated wrongly just because he had a friendly relationship with the CMD of Naba Diganta.

“They have made me a director of the company without my knowledge and I have not taken a single paisa from the company, rather they have not returned my money. I have gone to the court and SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) to get my money back”, said Bagarti.

Former BJD MLA Nayak, who denied any financial transaction with the tainted firm, said, his name has been dragged into the case as his resignation from the directorship of the company was accepted belatedly.

“I was a director in the company when it was a private limited firm. But when it became a public limited company, I had resigned since 2012. But the company accepted my resignation only in 2013 and hence, the CBI today summoned me”, Nayak said.

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