Days after CBI officials arrested two Trinamool Congress MPs, the CBI on Thursday searched the offices and homes of a BJD MP and a party MLA in connection with the chit fund scam involving the Seashore Group of Companies. CBI officials searched the properties of BJD MP from Balasore Rabindra Kumar Jena and MLA Pravat Biswal as part of its searches across 25 places in the state and outside. The CBI searched Jena’s house and office in Balasore town and Biswal’s houses in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack.
Watch What Else Is Making News
A private MBA college in Balasore, whose advisory board has Jena, and its promoter’s house were also searched.
The house of Saroj Sahu, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s former aide, was also searched by the probe agency. The CBI also searched the houses of hotel owner Kamalakanta Das, some Seashore Group employees and that of a councillor of Choudwar Municipality.
Protesting the searches, BJD leaders, including minister Sanjay Dasburma, who is also under scanner in a chit fund scam, later burnt the effigy of Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan in front of the CBI office here. They said the searches were an attempt to browbeat the BJD ahead of the panchayat polls. “The way the BJP is using the CBI as a tool to harass political opponents is a matter of great regret,” said party spokesperson Pratap Deb.
CBI officials said the BJD MP’s Supratik Group of companies had taken a loan of Rs 18 crore from Seashore Group during 2010-11. Though Jena claims to have repaid the loan in 2013, some amount is still unpaid.
Meanwhile, a special CBI court here rejected the bail plea of Trinamool Congress MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay and sent him to judicial custody till January 25. Bandyopadhyay was arrested last week for his alleged involvement in the Rose Valley chit fund scam.