Mrunal Manmay Dash

scenes unfolded in front of the Sub-Collector’s office in Nabarangpur when locals burst firecrackers and distributed sweets celebrating the vigilance raids on district Additional Sub-Collector Prashant Kumar Rout.

“It felt like being liberated from the clutches of Ravana. Rout was such an officer whose primary job was to swindle money. We are very happy that the Vigilance has raided his properties. We are celebrating it with firecrackers. We want this kind of action against any officer who indulges in corruption,” said a local, Uttam Tripathy.

It is pertinent to mention here that the vigilance has unearthed over Rs 3 crore cash and five plots including four in Cuttack and Bhubaneswar and one ‘benami plot’ at Umarkote in Nabarangpur from the possession of Rout. The measurement and valuation of the above building/plots are being carried out by the Vigilance Technical Wing.

Cash worth Rs 3,02,30,800 was recovered from the residence of Rout at Bhubaneswar and Nabarangpur. Further, Rout seems to have made regular cash deposits in a number of ‘benami bank accounts’. Details of one such account opened in the name of an acquaintance in Indusind Bank, Bhubaneswar has been collected where Rs 21 lakh cash deposits are suspected to have been made by Rout from 2019 onwards.

Bank & Insurance deposits of over Rs 41 lakh, two four-wheelers (Toyota Innova & Maruti Swift) and one two-wheeler (Honda Activa) worth Rs 37 lakh, gold and silver jewellery and household articles worth over Rs 21.35 lakh have also been recovered. The cost of Innova car (benami) is Rs 29,50,163 which is under verification.

Besides, Rout has spent approximately Rs 87 lakh on medical education of his daughter and the educational expenditure of his son, details of which have been unearthed during the searches.

As per reports, Rout entered government service as an OAS officer on July 1, 1996. He worked as Tehsildar in Kendrapara, Jajpur, Balasore, Bargarh districts and as BDO in Jajpur, Cuttack, Kendrapara and Sundargarh districts respectively. During his tenure as BDO at Bisra Block, he was arrested on November 6, 2018 in a trap case for taking Rs 1 lakh bribe. Then he was placed under suspension and was reinstated on January 18, 2020 as the Additional Sub-Collector of Nabarangpur.

"Rout is being examined to ascertain the source of the assets. Further searches are continuing as the unearthing of more assets is likely and overall valuation is likely to increase too," the Vigilance said.

  • Reported by:
  • Naba Ghana Bishoi