Odisha: BDO, Cops in soup for selling seized cashew at throwaway prices
Paralakhemundi: The Block Development Officer (BDO) at Mohana and six others including some police personnel have landed in trouble after a case was filed against them for allegedly selling seized cashew in low prices through a faulty public auction.
A police sub-inspector (PSI) has also been placed under suspension in this connection.
Sources said a truck laden with 17 tonnes of cashew and three quintals of Ganja had been seized near Mandimera under Udaba police limits in Gajapati district on August 4 this year. Two persons were arrested in this connection.
Sub-inspector Jagdal, who was the investigating Officer (IO) of the case, had submitted a report in the court, mentioning that the seized cashews were raw and were sold out for Rs 14 lakh in the presence of BDO Bansidhar Khosla, Supply Inspector Shankar Behera and police inspector in charge Tapan Kumar Pati.
However, the court had doubted the veracity of Jagdal’s claims and directed the police to reinvestigate and submit a report. Following the Court’s order, the Superintendent of Police (SP), Gajapati, Sitaram Satpathy had conducted an inquiry and found large-scale irregularities in the sale of the seized items. The investigation revealed that 17 tonne of cashew kernel worth Rs 64 lakh had actually been seized.
“The findings revealed that the concerned officials ignored the prescribed norms while conducting the public auction and sold the seized items at prices much lesser than the market value. The officials hatched a criminal conspiracy with the traders and carried out the auction in an illegal manner. The IO has been suspended for gross misconduct of position,” SP Satpathy said.
After the irregularities came to fore, a case has been filed against BDO Bansidhar, Adaba police IIC Tapan Kumar Pati, Supply Inspector Shankar Behera, SI Alok Ranjan Jagdal, cashew trader K Rabi Kumar and truck driver B Mohan Rao. Jagdal has been placed under suspension as part of immediate departmental action.