Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: Expelled BJD leader and MLA from Gopalpur, Pradeep Panigrahi was picked up by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Crime Branch from his residence, said his wife Sujata on Thursday evening.

According to Sujata, some people who came in four vehicles arrived at the MLA’s official residence. “Identifying themselves as sleuths from the Crime Branch EOW, they took away my husband from our residence in Bhubaneswar,” said Sujata.

“Without any notice or warrant, they picked up my husband. Is my husband is a naxalite or a terrorist that he’s been ill-treated by the officials,” said Sujata, adding, “if the government had shown the same alacrity in case of Naxals the problem would not have existed by now.”

Sujata further expressed threat to her husband life as she was unable to locate him at the EOW office. “If anything happens to my husband, the Chief Minister will be responsible,” she said.

“What is the reason behind the officials taking away my husband, who is a sitting MLA, to an undisclosed place for questioning. He (Pradeep Panigrahi) is being targeted and harassed intentionally,” Sujata added.

It is worth mentioning here that following his expulsion from the party after his alleged links with tainted IFS officer Abhay Kant Pathak surfaced, Panigrahi, in a series of media interviews had threatened to expose the corrupt practices of the Naveen Patnaik-led BJD government in the state.

During an exclusive interview with OTV (Khola Katha) Panigrahi had alleged large scale corruption in the procurement of sub-standard pulses for distribution in the mid-day meal programme of the state government. He further alleged that there were two power centres in Odisha.

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