Former OCA Secretary Ashirbad Behera Arrested By CBI, sent to jail

Bhubaneswar: Former honorary secretary of Orissa Cricket Association (OCA) Ashirbad Behera was sent to Jharpara jail today after his bail plea was rejected following his arrest by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with his alleged links with Artha Tatwa (AT) chit fund scam case.

“A NBW was pending against him and he was arrested today,” said CBI SP, JN Rana.

“Ahead of the upcoming elections of OCA, a conspiracy has been hatched by the opposition to arrest me,” said Behera.

As per reports, Ashirbad Behera who donned the secreatary’s chair in OCA for quite a few years was arrested by the CBI early morning today along with owner of Hotel Solan Inn, Kamalakanta Das.

“As there was no material against Behera, a chargesheet has been filed mechanically. These arrests are beyond the law,” said Gyana Mohanty, Kamalakanta’s Lawyer.

CBI had filed chargesheet against Behera, Kamalakanta Das and Director of AT Group Sambit Kumar Khuntia on August 29 under relevant sections of IPC and Prize Chits & Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act, 1978.

Behera had been under the scanner of the central probe agency since 2014 after allegations on his links with the AT Group came to fore. He was interrogated several times in the past in connection with the matter.

CBI sources said Behera and OCA had played a crucial role in promoting the AT Group by roping them as sponsors for Ranji trophy and Odisha Premier League matches in 2011 and 2012.

Behera who was also a former honorary secretary of Odisha Olympic Association (OOA) is also under CBI scanner in connection with Barabati Stadium land grabbing allegations.

Meanwhile, his son, Sanjay Behera termed Ashirbad’s arrest as political vendetta. Sanjay said, “My father didn’t know Artha Tatwa promoters personally. The decision to launch OPL and rope in AT group as its sponsor was a unanimous decision of all the office bearers. My father is being framed under a conspiracy just before OCA elections to throw us out of contention.”

“We have fully cooperated with the CBI officials who raided our home early morning. Though they produced a court order but a summon should have been issued before arrest.” adds Sanjay.