Relief loot: Vigilance raids 29 CMC corporators’ houses

Cuttack: The State Vigilance sleuths on Tuesday conducted raids at the residences of 29 corporators of Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) on charges of looting relief materials in the aftermath of Cyclone Phailin.
 
Sources said, 29 teams of the investigating agency raided the houses of the corporators while one team conducted searches at the CMC office.
 
Earlier, on Monday, the vigilance sleuths had raided the municipal corporation's office and questioned former deputy CMC Commissioner Jaganarayan Kujur, who was responsible for distribution of relief materials, and seized several documents.
 
Chief minister Naveen Patnaik had asked the vigilance department to probe the allegations that some BJD leaders in Cuttack had looted relief materials on October 13, a day after the cyclone hit the state. 
 
Patnaik's order came a day after the central division Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC) Arvind Padhee enquired into the allegations made by the Congress' Cuttack unit.
 
The state government has already transferred the Commissioner of CMC Nihar Ranjan Mohapatra and suspended his deputy Jaganarayan Kujur.
 
Patnaik, who is BJD chief, also suspended the party's Cuttack unit chief Madhusudan Sahu for alleged involvement in the looting of relief materials and returning them on Saturday after an outcry. 
 
The district administration of Cuttack had supplied around 200 quintals of rice and other materials to the CMC for distribution among 40,000 evacuees, official sources said.
 
While the CMC had announced to open four free kitchens to provide cooked food to the evacuees for three days, the same was not done for a single day, some Congress leaders alleged.
 
They also alleged that some BJD corporators had forcibly taken away the relief materials from the CMC office.
 
The city Congress had also filed a written complaint to the Purighat police station in the city.
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