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Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: Trouble seems to mounting for Gopalpur MLA Pradeep Panigrahi who has been arrested on the charges of complicity in the high-profile Tata Motors 'recruitment fraud' allegedly in connivance with his would-be son-in-law Akash Pathak. More skeletons are likely to tumble out in the alleged recruitment fraud which has created a political stir in Odisha.

Bhubaneswar SDJM court on Tuesday allowed the Crime Branch, investigating the recruitment fraud, to take the expelled BJD MLA on a two-day remand. Panigrahi is currently lodged at the Jharpada Special Jail in Bhubaneswar.

At a presser, the Crime Branch had claimed that Gopalpur MLA Pradeep Panigrahi directly took money from two aspirants who had been conned in the massive recruitment scam allegedly committed by Akash Pathak on pretext of providing employment in Tata Motors.

Crime Branch ADG Soumendra Priyadarshi on Saturday said, “So far, six persons who were duped by Akash Pathak have come forward and lodged formal complaints with the Crime Branch. Two of them had directly transferred money to the bank account of arrested Gopalpur MLA Pradeep Panigrahi."

Impersonating himself as the Managing Director (I/c) of Tata Motors, Akash had even issued fake appointment letters by creating fake email accounts using the company’s letter pad and logo, Priyadarshi said.

Akash Pathak, the son of suspended IFS officer Abhay Kant Pathak, is currently on a five-day Crime Branch remand for questioning in connection with the matter.

The investigating agency is interrogating Pathak to elicit crucial information on the allegations levelled against him like cheating, forgery and the criminal conspiracy.

(Edited By Devbrat Patnaik)

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