Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: While the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the State Crime Branch has begun interrogation of Prabhas Rout, chief of Oscar chit fund company, veteran Ollywood actor Uttam Mohanty and comedian Papu Pom Pom today said they are ready to face interrogation by the agency.

“I am ready to face interrogation and will immediately respond and tell the EOW whatever I know about him (Rout),” Mohanty said in an exclusive interview with OTV.

"I came in contact with Pravas Rout in 2010 through one of his friends. Prabhas had requested me to award some trophies to the artists at a state show in Surat. Keeping his request, I had gone to Surat," the veteran cine star said.

He said Rout had sought his help to make an Odia movie for which he had suggested the name of a director and a cameraman.

“I have not acted in any of his movies. But my son Babushan has acted in one of his movies 'To Akhire Mu',” he informed.

Asked whether he had any other association with Rout, Mohanty said once he had gone with him to Shridi from Surat to have darshan of Sai Baba.

To another question on whether he had invested money in the Oscar company, Mohanty said he had not invested a single pie in the company. He, however, said though Rout had formed a bank, he never heard about any alluring schemes floated by the bank like other chit fund companies, who lure people with the promise of attractive return, do.

He said if Rout has invested the money of the investors in making movies, God will give him appropriate punishment. “I hope that the people will get back the hard-earned money they had invested in the company,” he said.

Asked whether he is repenting his association with Rout, Mohanty said he was never aware of his activities.

“My advice to the Ollywood industry, especially actors and actress, is henceforth they should be cautious about the offers they get from the producers. In our times, there were no producers involved in such dubious activities. Their main aim was to produce good movies,” Mohanty added.

Talking about the investment of money by Oscar chit fund company in Ollywood industry, well-known Ollywood comedian Papu Pom Pom said a number of Odia movies have been made with the chit fund companies earlier. “But the fact remains that no one had any knowledge about the activities of chit fund companies at that time. As a result, lakhs of people have invested crores of money in chit fund companies,” he added.

He said the Ollywood actors, like other people, were also unaware of the real activities of these chit fund companies.

Asked why fingers are being raised at Ollowood actors, he said since people like and follow film stars, they think that their involvement in the chit fund companies is a crime.

“Personally, I am also feeling guilty as I should have gone into the details before getting involved with this company. I have already said earlier that a person is seen as an accused only after allegations are levelled against him. How one can know about a person until there is an allegation against him?

Talking about his involvement with Prabhas Rout, Papu said Rout had planned to release Odia movie “To Akhire mu” in Surat for which he had invited some Ollywood stars, including him, Uttam Mohanty, Jina and Lipi.

“We had gone to Surat for the promotion of the movie as a number of Odias are residing there. We had never told people to invest their money in the Oscar company and get double the amount. Besides, we had not gone there to promote Rout,” he claimed.

On the possibility of EOW calling him for interrogation and the bitter lesson he wants to share with the people, Papu said he had done the most to create awareness against the fraud chit fund companies and builders in Odisha.

“You can ask the Crime Branch and the EOW and they will tell you how many awareness campaigns I have done on their behalf,” he said.

The popular actor further said he will immediately respond to the EOW notice for interrogation on this matter. “I want the duped investors to get back their money,” he added.