Nitesh Kumar Sahoo

In the most sensational lady blackmailer Archana Nag ’s case, businessman Amiyakant Das and Odia film producer Akshaya Parija appeared before Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday to face questioning. After the first phase of ED’s questioning session, another accused, Sradhanjali Behera will likely appear on Wednesday. 

However, eyebrows have been raised if the Commissionerate Police is extending the required cooperation for the investigation to the ED or not.

As per reports, Das, owner of AK Associates, had deposited Rs 10 lakh in the bank account of Archana and her husband Jagabandhu in 2021-22. Earlier, Das was summoned by the ED in connection to the case and he appeared before the ED at around 9 am in the morning. Das was quizzed for over 8 hours.

“I got introduced to Archana through Facebook. I had given her over Rs 7 lakhs for medical expenses in two installments for treatment of her husband,” said Das after stepping out of the ED office.

Odia film producer Parija also appeared before ED today as he had filed a complaint against Archana and Sradhanjali over blackmailing threats for Rs 3 crore ransoms. Sources informed that the ED summoned Parija to collect evidence of financial transactions if any.
It is pertinent to mention here that, earlier, Parija skipped an appearance before the ED citing illness.

Meanwhile, ED is quizzing Archana’s business partner Khageswar Patra by taking him into remand for three more days after the completion of the 10-day remand period.

The ED has summoned around 15 people including some politicians, builders, and businessmen in connection with Archana money laundering case. Around Rs 2.5 crore has been deposited in Archana’s account in the last five years. Bank statements and monetary transactions in this connection will be verified after their questioning.

On the other hand, reports say, fearing arrest, Sradhanjali moved to the High Court seeking anticipatory bail. Meanwhile, questions have been raised if the Commisonerate Police is co-operating with the ED or not, as only CRPF jawans are escorting Khageswar from jail to court. Even, following the seizure of Archana’s Ford Endeavour by the ED officials a couple of days back, the police allegedly didn’t co-operate the ED. 

Such buzz is gaining momentum as when the ED demanded the CCTV footage to track the person who parked the car; police overlooked the demand citing that it is difficult to identify the person in dark. Moreover, when the ED asked for the list of stuff seized from Nag-Chand couple, police is delaying it. Even police’s role in the arrest of Archana, Jagabandhu, and their associate Khageswar also has triggered several theories. 

Archana Nag has been in the news for quite a long time now for high-profile extortion cases, for allegedly accumulating a huge amount of disproportionate assets which included many luxury cars along with residents in the posh localities.

Later in the day, Akshaya Parija came out of the ED office after questioning for around five hours. "I have full faith in the judiciary and the law will take its own course," said Parija after coming out of the Enforcement Directorate's office.

Reported by Alok Mohanty & Chandan Paikaray