‘Third Floor’ derailing probe into chit fund-Ollywood links: Opp

Bhubaneswar: Even as speculation is rife whether Crime Branch would take arrested comedian Papu Pom Pom on remand for interrogation on his involvement in the Oscar chit fund scam, Opposition BJP and Congress have alleged that the ruling party has tied the hands of the probe agency after the names of its actor-MPs like Sidhant Mohapatra and Anubhav Mohanty cropped up in the case.

Both the BJP and the Congress alleged that the ‘Third Floor’ (the Chief Minister’s office in the Secretariat) is trying to suppress the matter.

“Those who were begging for votes for BJD were also those who were seeking notes for the Oscar company. Now, the CM’s office is coming forward to escort them to safer place,” senior BJP leader Sameer Mohanty said.

Putting the blame squarely on the ruling BJD for the slow pace of the inquiry, Leader of Opposition Narasingh Mishra said; “MPs, MLAs and leaders of the ruling party are involved in the chit fund scam. Neither the CBI nor the State Crime Branch has brought them under the purview of the probe. They only claim to have investigated the cases.”

In its reaction, the BJD has asked the Opposition to refrain from making much ‘Halla Bol’, which it said would affect the inquiry.

“The real culprits will come out once the investigation is over. But the political parties are making much hue and cry over the matter, which does not help the inquiry,” BJD spokesperson Amar Satpathy said.

Worried over the tardy progress of the probe, investors have come down heavily on the inquiry team.

“Crime Branch itself is hiding the crime and helping raise crimes,” head of the forum fighting for chit fund victims Jayant Das said.

“They (actors) have taken huge amounts from the chit fund company and have influenced people to invest money in the firm. But it is a matter of concern that probe team is yet to interrogate them,” Das added.

Legal experts feel that the casting couch allegation, which put popular actor Papu Pom Pom behind bars, has overshadowed the chit fund-Ollywood links.

“After the arrest of Papu, it seems that the Crime Branch probe over the Oscar-Ollywood link is getting slowed down by the day. There is a need to bring them (actors) under the purview of investigation,” senior lawyer Dharanidhar Nayak said.

Notably, Crime Branch ADG BK Sharma, while briefing the media about the triangular relationship of chit fund companies, Ollywwod and builders, had hinted at interrogating some of the actors about their involvement in the Oscar firm.

It is widely speculated that the investigation process has slowed down after names of some actor-turned politicians of the ruling BJD came to the fore.