MLAs caught on camera: Vigilance raids news web channel’s office, camera man’s house

Bhubaneswar/Balasore: Two days after the chief minister ordered the State vigilance to probe into the sting operation in which four BJD MLAs were caught demanding money from industrialist, the anti-graft agency today conducted simultaneous raids in Bhubaneswar and Balasore and seized some documents.

A team led by vigilance SP raided the office of India 24×7 web channel in Bhubaneswar. It’s editor Rabi Sharma’s house was also raided in Bhubaneswar while the probe team searched the house of his aide Saroj Kamila at Dudapal under Kamarda police station in Balasore district. Three laptops, three hard disks, five pen drives have been seized during the raids and these will be sent to forensic laboratory for examination, vigilance director RP Sharma said.

Sources said some old data in the seized hard disks have been deleted.

Kamila,who is the camera man of the said web channel, was not present during the raid. The vigilance officials had to return only after inspecting his house. The camera man, who works for an agency, was a part of the sting operation.

Four BJD MLAs-Seemarani Nayak (Hindol), Susant Kumar Behera (Chhendipada), Bijay Kumar Nayak (Karanjia) and Anam Nayak (Bhawanipata)- were caught on camera while negotiating with some industrialists for providing no objection certificate (NOC) and facilitating land acquisition for setting up industries in their respective constituencies.

The video was aired on a particular news channel following which chief minister had ordered a vigilance probe into the matter.

A day after CM’s order, Vigilance on Wednesday had formed five teams and assigned them task separately.

Talking to media persons on Wednesday, Vigilance Director R.P. Sharma had said, “Five teams have been formed initially to probe into the incident and each team have been entrusted with a specific assignment”. More teams would be formed if needed, Sharma had added.