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Odisha: Crorepati IFS Officer’s Son Brought From Mumbai; Quizzed by Vigilance

Bhubaneswar: A day after conducting raids at properties across several cities in the country in connection with the disproportionate assets case probe against Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer Abhay Kant Pathak on Wednesday, the Vigilance department on Thursday brought his son to Bhubaneswar from Mumbai for further questioning.

The preliminary probe into the case has revealed that Pathak’s son, who had fashioned himself as the managing director (in-charge) of a reputed automobile firm, was staying in a rented accommodation in Mumbi by paying several lakhs of rupees every month. Moreover, he had also engaged several bouncers for his personal security, Vigilance department sources said.

Pathak, a 1987 batch IFS official has been posted as the Additional PCCF (Plan Programme and Afforestation ), Odisha since June 2, 2018.

Pathak came under the Vigilance radar following his travels to Mumbai in chartered flights during the COVID-19 induced lockdown in the country. Sources said Pathak and his family members flew in chartered flights to several destinations in the country on multiple occasions during the lockdown.

The Odisha Vigilance had conducted simultaneous searches at 13 places linked to Pathak in the State and Maharastra and other parts of the country on Wednesday.

Vigilance department sources revealed that around Rs 50 lakh cash was seized fom Pathak’s nephew’s house in Bhubaneswar. Besides, Rs 20 lakh cash was recovered from the house of Pathak’s driver in Pipili in Puri district.

Though Pathak has claimed that the assets are not disproportionate to his known sources of income, the Opposition parties on Thursday targeted the Odisha government over the sensational disclosures on the riches amassed by the public servant.

“It is just a tip of the ice-berg and it shows how government officials are indulging in corruption. The Vigilance inquiry has found that the officer had acquired flats in several parts of the country,” said Congress MLA, Santosh Singh Saluja.

Saluja said that the officer was also in the possession of several luxury vehicles. “It is the biggest raid by the Vigilance department as over 150 officers were involved in the searches,” he added.

“From media reports we learnt that the officer wanted to marry his son with the daughter of an ex-minister who is presently a MLA. The Odisha government should clarify who the MLA is and he should also be brought under the purview of the probe,” Saluja added.

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