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Vikash Sharma

More damning disclosures have been made following the sustained interrogation of tainted Odisha Staff Selection Commission (OSSC) official Biranchi Narayan Sahoo by the State Vigilance sleuths.

Superintendent of Police (SP), Vigilance, R Prakash on Friday said that around 114 admit cards of aspiring candidates were recovered from Sahoo’s residence during searches on July 30, 2021.

Preliminary investigations reveal that the 107 candidates whose admit cards were found had not secured jobs in the OSSC examinations. However, a detailed investigation on the remaining 7 candidates is underway to find if they were actually benefitted by Sahoo.

“We have found that 107 candidates whose admit cards were found did not make into the selection list of any examination. We are checking the details of the remaining seven candidates,” said Prakash.

The Vigilance SP told reporters said that apart from his official duty, Sahoo is found to have been running an Insurance policy business using the name of his wife since 2009.

He was actively soliciting insurance policy subscriptions. He had sold over 900 insurance policies to various persons including a few job aspirants in the last one decade.

In the backdrop of allegations that Sahoo was influencing applicants to subscribe to such policies, the SP said so far names of 21 such subscribers have been traced in the list. They were candidates in various OSSC- conducted exams.

“In the last 10 years, Sahoo had managed to secure insurance policies for 900 persons including 21 candidates. We are conducting an inquiry to ascertain whether such policies were done before the examination notifications or afterwards. We will also verify the Income Tax returns of Sahoo’s wife. We will verify how much commission Sahoo received by selling such insurance policies,” said Prakash.

Sahoo, posted as Personal Secretary (PS) to a member in the State Government recruiting agency, was arrested a day after the Vigilance unearthed cash and property to the tune of a whopping Rs 3.51 crore following raids at his residence July 30, 2021.

He was under Vigilance scanner following allegations of amassing assets disproportionate to his known sources of income.

“It appears that the properties were undervalued. Along with the sellers, we will also conduct a detail inquiry into the investments made by Sahoo in real estate,” Prakash added.

Earlier, the Vigilance had recovered several bank slips indicating huge cash deposits, recruitment-related admit cards of applicants following searches at Sahoo’s residence in Bhubaneswar. Similarly, documents pertaining to 14 plots in Bhubaneswar, Khordha and Puri districts, gold ornaments weighing approximately 1.5 kg, insurance deposits of over Rs 56 lakh were also recovered.

The anti-corruption sleuths had also recovered more than Rs 12 lakh cash from Sahoo’s house and over Rs 13 lakh from one of his brother-in-law’s residence.

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