Seashore chit fund scam: CBI digs deeper into Pravat Biswal links

Bhubaneswar: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday quizzed three persons here for their alleged connection with Cuttack-Choudwar BJD MLA Pravat Biswal, whose residences in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack were searched earlier this month for his ‘links’ with the chit scam-tainted Seashore Group.

Official sources said, Gouranga Patra and, contractors Aurobinda Jena and Asit Malia were questioned individually by the central agency, which wanted to know their financial transactions with Laxmi Bilasini Biswal, wife of the legislator.

“I had given Rs 1 lakh to Laxmi Bilasini Biswal as she needed it”, Jena told media persons after coming out of the CBI office.

Malia, too said that he had lent Biswal the same amount of money some five years back. “As she (Biswal) was in dire need of money due to some reasons, I had lent her Rs 1 lakh in 2012”, said Malia.

He informed media that the investigating officers wanted to know all the financial transactions between us.

Patra who deposed before the investigating officials on behalf of Tirthananda Subuddhi Roy, said he appeared before the officials as the latter who represents Biswal failed to make it to the office.

“Roy asked me to appear before the officials as he has some prior appointments”, said Patra.

From Monday interrogation it is now confirmed that Laxmi had taken Rs 1 lakh each from Jena and Malia. Though it is immediately not clear about these financial transactions, the agency officials smell a link with the Seashore Group. Last month, she had been grilled by CBI in connection with the 2011 land deal with Seashore Group.

The BJD MLA from Cuttack-Choudwar, Pravat Biswal, also faced the heat when CBI sleuths searched his residence at Cuttack and Bhubaneswar for his links with Seashore Group. Two years ago, Biswal was also questioned by CBI. His wife, Laxmi Bilasini Biswal, had been grilled by CBI in connection with the 2011 land deal with Seashore Group last month.

On January 12, the CBI had conducted searches at 25 places in Odisha in connection with the Seashore scam. The residences of BJD MP Rabindra Jena and Saroj Kumar Sahoo, former-aide of chief minister Naveen Patnaik were also searched during the raid.