More trouble for BJD MP Hansdah as Naba Diganta chief accepts charges

Bhubaneswar: Things seem to be getting worse for BJD’s Mayurbhanj MP Ramchandra Hansdah as Anjan Baliarsingh, the chief of scam-tainted Naba Diganta chit fund firm on Tuesday pleaded guilty to the charges of cheating investors in the State.

Highly placed sources said, Baliarsingh, while appearing before the Special CBI court here admitted guilt to all the charges framed by the central investigating agency, in written. The court has accepted it and his statement will be recorded at a later stage, sources added.

Since former legislators Hitesh Bagarti and Subarna Nayak including Hansdah were arrested in 2014 by CBI in connection with their ‘links’ in the chit fund firm, the public prosecutor while interrogating Baliarsingh in all likelihood, may elicit information on the trio. They have been charged with criminal conspiracy, cheating and diversion of funds.

Given that the court, earlier in the month had awarded five-year imprisonment to Waytel chit fund chief Thakur Amardip Singh and fined Rs 100 crore in connection with a money laundering scam, the court may take a similar stance in the case.

Last month, the court had sentenced chit fund firm Artha Tatwa (AT) Group’s chief Pradip Sethy to 7-year imprisonment for his involvement in the multi-crore chit fund scam in Odisha. The court also imposed a fine of Rs 30,000 on Sethy, failing which he will be required to undergo another 6 months of imprisonment.

Apart from him, the court also sentenced Manoj Patnaik, another director of AT Group to 4 years of imprisonment and imposed on him a fine of Rs 10,000.

In 2015, during a raid, the central agency had seized Rs 28 lakh from the parliamentarian’s house. Notably Hansdah was the founding director of money-circulation deposit company.