Court sends Athagarh DFO on 3-day Vigilance remand

Cuttack: A local court on Friday allowed the State Vigilance to take Athagarh DFO Sudhansu Bhusan Mishra, who was arrested on charges of amassing disproportionate assets.on a three-day remand.

Sources said the Vigilance would take the Athagarh DFO on the remand from February 29. Following this, Mishra was sent to the Choudwar circle jail.

The Vigilance had prayed before the court to take Mishra on a five-day remand. However, it has got only a three-day custody of Mishra for questioning.

Meanwhile, Odisha’s Forest and Environment Principal Secretary Suresh Mohapatra said the process for suspension of Mishra will be initiated in case the Athagarh DFO stays in jail for 48 hours.

“We came to know from the media that he has been arrested by the vigilance. After his arrest, we should get intimation from the department as per the procedure. However, we have not got any letter regarding this yet,” Mohapatra said.

The Forest & Environment secretary said the department is planning to to do all transactions with labourers and contractors online to minimise chances of misappropriation of funds from April 1. “We have already written to the PCCF about it,” he said.

“We are conducting DFO-level meetings in all the circles to curb misappropriation of funds. Irregularities will not be tolerated,” he added.

Notably, on Tuesday, vigilance sleuths raided the houses of Mishra and seized movable and immovable properties worth more than Rs 6 crore, including Rs 1.1 crore in cash.