Niranjan asks CM to explain role of BJD leaders in chitfund

Bhubaneswar: Asking Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to explain role of ruling BJD leaders in multi-crore chitfund scam in Odisha, Congress on Sunday alleged that the police was being "soft" in its attitude towards the culprits.

"The state government should have no problem with an SIT (special investigation team) probe if you have nothing to hide. Your police have clearly shown that they are a party to the scam and out to protect the guilty," senior Congress leader and former OPCC president Niranjan Patnaik said in a letter to the Chief Minister.

Alleging that there is a "conflict of interest" if these cases continue to be investigated by the State Police, Patnaik said Naveen should allow an independent and thorough probe into the chitfund scam.

The Congress leader had earlier on May 8 and 15 written two letters to the Chief Minister on chitfund matter.

He also reiterated the demand to create a corpus fund to mitigate the misery of those who lost money in the scam.

Terming police action in chitfund case as "eyewash", Niranjan said " bare reading of the half-page FIRs would show the intent of police", he said.

"Either your Police officers have no clue to investigation of white collar crimes like Chit Fund cases or they have deliberately filed FIRs that do not prima facie reveal that the accused", he said.

On suspected role of BJD leaders, Niranjan expressed surprise that against Pradip Sethi, one of the principal fraudsters, who was taken into police remand, no action was taken.

Stating that these companies have enjoyed "political and bureaucratic patronage", he alleged that government is now trying hard to hide the skeletons in its cupboards.

The Congress leader asked the Chief Minister to break silence in the matter.