BHUBANESWAR: The credibility of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) as an impartial and effective probe agency has sunk low in Odisha as it has failed to nail the key culprits involved in the mega chit fund scam. Despite the agency being claimed to have been provided “clinching evidences” by approvers against a host of top the ruling BJD, it has almost stopped its investigation midway, surprising over 20 lakh small depositors who have lost nearly Rs 10,000 crore.
After initial arrests of some influential persons, the agency has almost discontinued grilling of other suspects named in the case. It has allegedly slowed down proceedings against top politicians, Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers, Indian Police Service (IPS) officers, journalists and other influential persons whose names had surfaced in the scams. The investors now doubt if they would ever be able to get back their money.
Names of a host of top BJD politicians, including Mayurbhanj Lok Sabha member Ramachandra Hansda, Banki MLA Pravat Tripathy and Choudwar MLA Pravat Ranjan Biswal, had cropped up in Artha Tatwa Group scam. These leaders were arrested by the CBI. However, a few others, including some ex-ministers of the Naveen Patnaik government, still enjoys their freedom despite the approvers time and again naming them before the investigating CBI officers.
The ponzi firm Artha Tatwa has allegedly swindled Rs 500 crore from investors while Seashore Group has looted nearly Rs 1500 crore. While Mayurbhanj MP Hansda and Bankin MLA were Tripathy were arrested, the CBI had served notice to former minister Sanjay Das Burma to appear before it for his alleged links with Artha Tatwa Group. The central probe agency had arrested two Trinamool Congress MPs- Sudip Bandyopadhyay and Tapas Paul – for their alleged links with Rose Valley Group that operated in Odisha. Besides, it had brought to Odisha on remand Sudipto Ray, chairman of Saradha Group.