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Know How Expelled BJD MLA Pradeep Panigrahi Spent First Night At Jharpada Jail

Bhubaneswar: Away from the entitlements and privileges he enjoyed until some days before his expulsion from BJD, Gopalpur MLA Pradeep Panigrahi spent his first night at the Jharpada jail like ‘an ordinary prisoner’ on Thursday.

The legislator whose whirlwind tours in charter planes during the lockdown and family ties with crorepati IFS officer Abhya Kant Pathak have become the talk of the town, had to contend with the jail staple ‘meal’ and confines of a solitary room.

This is because the jail authorities have to follow the Covid-19 protocol while accommodating a new inmate in their cells.

Panigrahi was arrested by a special team of the Crime Branch on the charges of collecting money from various people on behalf of Akash Pathak, son of suspended IFS officer Abhay Kant Pathak, on Thursday in a late night drama that kept people across the state glued to television sets.

Minutes prior the mysterious disappearance of the beleaguered former BJD legislator, which sent his wife on a wild goose chase, only added suspense to the plot.

Curtains were lifted when the police drove Panigrahi to the SDJM’s court and secured his judicial remand following his production.

Jail sources said Panigrahi was treated like any other prisoner as per the jail manual. He has been kept in quarantine in ward number 14 in adherence to the Covid-19 protocol. The Crime Branch will seek the approval of the Court to subject him to custodial interrogation.

On the other hand, sources said that Panigrahi could file a bail application in a higher court. He had been remanded to Judicial Custody for 14 days after his plea for bail was rejected by the SDJM court.

The Gopalpur MLA has been charged with forgery, cheating, conspiracy, and for his alleged links with the tainted riches of IFS officer Abhay and his son Akash.

Meanwhile, the Odisha Vigilance detected Rs 1.28 crore more in the bank accounts of Akash in Bhubaneswar and Pune. With this, the total amount of deposits traced in his three bank accounts has gone up to Rs 16.05 crore.

Besides, bank accounts and insurance policies of Akash have been traced to Berhampur and Bolangir, which are under verification.

The Vigilance has already referred the matter related to the recovery of deposits from bank accounts of Akash to the Income Tax Department and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for further probe.

(Edited by Ramakant Biswas)


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