Bhubaneswar: Odisha Jana Morcha (OJM) secretary general Jagneswar Babu was arrested by vigilance sleuths on Wednesday for his alleged role in disbursing a loan of Rs 36.18 crore to a sugar mill without conforming to the stipulated norms by the Odisha State Cooperative Bank (OSCB).
Vigilance Cell superintendent of police Sashi Bhushan Mishra said, “As the head of OSCB, Jagnswar Babu disbursed a loan of Rs 36.24 crore to Bijayananda Sugar Mills. At the time of loan disbursement, Jagneswar was heading the OSCB and he was also the president of the Bijayananda Sugar Mills. The disbursement to the sugar mill was neither cleared by the bank’s loan committee nor by its managing committee and the loans were disbursed without any security.
The loan was also not utilized for the intended purpose. After preliminary investigation, the vigilance department found prima facie evidence against Jagneswar and he was arrested after interrogation”.
The vigilance sleuths have lodged an FIR against Jagneswar and six others including OSCB MD Tushar K Parida and an ex-CGM Laxmidhar Acharya. The vigilance is currently raiding the residential and official premises of the accused persons named in the FIR.
Reacting to the arrest of Jagneswar Babu, OJM president Pyari Mohan Mohapatra said, “The arrest of Babu is a conspiracy hatched by the government to defame the Odisha Jan Morcha. OJM will wage a legal battle against such arbitrary action of the vigilance department”.
Senior BJD leader and health minister Damodar Rout, however, said, “There is no political motive behind Babu’s arrest. The vigilance department has initiated action as per law”.