Illegal gutkha trade: Ramesh Jena to be produced in court today

Berhampur: Arrested former Congress MLA Ramesh Jena will be produced before the Sub Divisional Judicial Magistrate (SDJM) court here on Tuesday for his alleged involvement in illegal guthka business, both in Vizag and in the Silk City.

According to sources, police is likely to pray to the court to take Jena on a fresh remand for further interrogation to extract more information about his gutkha business.

Aska police was also looking to take the ex-legislator on a remand after he was implicated in a tender fixing case filed against him at Aska police station on February 24.

Police had prayed to the Aska JMFC court to take Jena on a remand. The JMFC court asked the Berhampur court to spare Jena and allowed police to take Jena on transit remand on March 23 and 24, the sources added.

Notably on Friday, Berhampur police had registered a case against the ex-Sanakhemundi legislator and five others, including his father, for their alleged involvement in guthka business.

The investigating officials arrested one Venkat Patro, who was detained by the police on Thursday for his role as the chief facilitator of Jena’s gutkha business. Police had also nabbed Prashant Mohanty for assisting Jena in the business.

Police also seized a gutkha making machines from Shreekhetra Vihar area of the city. The team also seized raw materials worth lakhs of rupees kept for preparing gutkha.