Papu’s arrest bid to bury Oscar scam: Opp, civil society

Bhubaneswar: A day after Ollywood actor Tattwa Prakash Satpathy aka Papu Pom Pom was arrested on casting couch charge, members of civil society raised questions on the progress of the Rs 240 crore Oscar chit fund scam investigation in which a number of Ollywood actors, including Papu, are allegedly involved.

“Why was the actor (Papu) not arrested in the Oscar chit fund scam case when he himself had admitted in the 2014 general election affidavit that he had taken Rs 1.5 lakh from scam tainted Oscar Group chief Prabhas Rout? Has the actor been arrested as a scapegoat to provide security to some politicians?” asked Ravi Das, convenor of Khyatigrasta Jamakari Milita Mancha.

Das said: “After the scam came to fore, Papu had again confessed before the media that he had borrowed some Rs 3.5 lakh from Rout, which he said he had returned. Despite the confession of the actor, who had taken a lead in encouraging investors to deposit in the company’s schemes, why didn’t the Crime Branch interrogate the actor and focus its investigation on the business empire of Rout in Gujarat?”

“Now it is clear that the State government is intentionally suppressing the chit fund issue. We demand that the State government must come clean on the progress of the investigation,” Das stated.

Meanwhile, training its gun on the government over the issue, the BJP has demanded a CBI inquiry into the whole issue.

“We don’t believe in the investigation of the Crime Branch. Since the ruling government’s MLAs, ministers and to some extent the chief minister himself is involved, the agency will not be able to investigate properly. Only CBI can do this,” senior BJP leader Biswa Bhusan Harichandan said.

The Congress alleged that the ruling party has failed bring its MPs involved in the Oscar scam into the purview of the investigation.

“Two MPs have benefited from the Oscar Group’s chit fund scam. But the State government is yet to reach them. They have become unreachable for the police,” Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) chief Prasad Harichandan said.

Under attack on the issue, the BJD has called for patience.

“The investigation on the scam is in progress. We have to wait patiently till the probe is completed,” BJD spokesperson Dibya Shankar Mishra said.