Bhubaneswar: A day after reports of interrogation of BJD leader and former Koraput MP Jayaram Pangi in connection with Itishree Pradhan murder case circulated in the media, the ruling party clarified that it was a 'discussion' with the former lawmaker and not an 'interrogation'.
"CBI has not interrogated him (Pangi). The central probe agency just held a discussion with the ex-parliamentarian regarding the case," BJD spokesperson Pratap Deb said, adding that the party's stand is very clear in this matter.
"Investigation should be transparent and the real culprit, whosoever he or she may be, should be punished," Deb added.
The former Lok Sabha member was reportedly quizzed by CBI DSP MK Pathak at the CBI camp office at Circuit House in Rayagada yesterday. But Pangi denied having been questioned.
"I was going to Berhampur and was waiting for my family members, who were coming in another vehicle, at the Circuit House. It is just a coincidence that CBI officials camped in the same building," Pangi had told media while coming out of the bungalow after spending nearly four hours there.
The statement of the former lawmaker before media seemed incredible as the CBI DSP camped in the same building, which remained locked for over four hours.
On the other hand, N Bhaskar Rao, vice-president of BJD and Deputy Chairman of the State Planning Board, who was also reportedly interrogated by the same official for one and a half hours in connection with the same case on Saturday, also denied being questioned saying there as no reason to question him.
"I have never been called by CBI for questioning or for discussion. There is no need for interrogating me. As I stay in the Circuit House, I sometimes meet the officials," Rao clarified.
Sources said the main accused in the sensational murder case, the then SI Netrananda Dandasena, who was awarded life imprisonment by Rayagada District and Sessions Court recently, is a close associate of Pangi.
In her dying video-graphed statement, victim Itishree had pointed finger at Pangi saying that Dandasena is Koraput MP Jayram Pangi’s “man” and no action could be taken against him due to the political patronage he got from him.