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Chit fund scam accused names BJD politicians after arrest

Anjan Kumar Baliarsingh, head of Naba Diganta Capital Services, a chit fund firm accused with charges of collecting about Rs 15 crore from the depositors without due permission, today said, two leaders of ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) were involved in the operation of the firm.

“We have proof that they (Ramchandra Hansda and Subarna Nayak) were involved completely (in the operation of Naba Diganta). They were fully aware about their role in the company and are not innocent as they have claimed,” said Baliarsingh before he was sent on six days’ remand by a special court of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), here.

Baliarsingh, along with two directors of the firm, was arrested by the CBI late Sunday evening following three-hour long interrogation. Before their arrest, the central probe agency had summoned three politicians for group interrogation due to their link with the firm as founding directors.

Accordingly, Ramachandra Hansda, BJD MP from Mayurbhanj, Subarna Nayak, the ruling party MLA from Keonjhar between 2009 and 2014 and Hitesh Bagarti, former Nuapada MLA of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were grilled separately and then together with Naba Diganta officials by the CBI on Sunday, but none of these politicians was arrested.

All three politicians said, they were innocent and had no knowledge of the company’s day to day affairs.

According to Baliarsingh, 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 returned Rs 7.30 crore to some depositors, the rest amount is yet to be refunded. The CBI is conducting probe whether the firm has actually refunded the money to the depositors or not.

Earlier this year, CBI had seized Rs 28 lakh during a search operation at the residence of Hansda, who claimed the money was kept for renovation of his house.

In a separate incident, the economic offence wing (EOW) of the Odisha police crime branch today arrested head of Biswa, a leading NGO, Khirod Mallick from Sambalpur for illegally raising Rs 10 crore from public in a chit fund like operation. Mallick is brother of BJD MLA and former minister, Pramila Mallick.

A case was registered against him three days ago by the EOW on the direction of the Odisha government. The action was taken as per a request of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), which in June this year, had barred Biswa from collecting money from depositors.

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