The CBI, probing into the chit fund scam in Odisha, interrogated BJD MLA from Banki Pravat Tripathy on Tuesday at the Bhubaneswar CBI office in connection with his link with AT Group chief Pradeep Sethy.
The senior BJD legislator arrived at the CBI, Bhubaneswar office at about 4.20 pm. Soon after, he was put to interrogation by multiple teams of the probe agency and the quizzing continued for at least six hours. He was allowed to leave at about 10.15 pm.
A number of his supporters, who were waiting outside the CBI office, ensured that their leader does not face any questions from media persons, who had been waiting for hours to get Tripathy’s comments.
TV crews and reporters were pushed away while they tried to get Tripathy to speak to them over his marathon interrogation by the CBI officials.
The 61-year-old Tripathy came under CBI scanner after the investigating agency searched his house at Cuttack and Banki on August 16. His key aide Subash Padhi and a rural bank branch in Banki were also raided where the agency found important documents relating to the transaction of money. Ashish Sahu, another close associate of Tripathy, was quizzed on Sunday for being a major link in the entire episode.
In fact, the CBI, which has been trailing the key aides of Tripathy, collected vital clues connecting them to the legislator which forced him to turn up for interrogation on Tuesday. Interrogation of Ranjan Das, chief of Swastik India Multipurpose Credit Cooperative Society, who also was a founder of AT Group, also provided important links after his arrest.
Anticipating arrest, Tripathy had applied for advance bail from the Odisha High Court on September 10. The CBI, meanwhile, has reportedly filed a petition before the court against the bail application.
Tripathy was interrogated for his alleged link with the Artha Tatwa Group CMD Pradeep Sethi who has been behind bars for allegedly duping hundreds of investors.
The ruling BJD party sought to wash its hands off saying Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik would not tolerate any corruption. “BJD and its supremo Naveen Patnaik will not tolerate involvement of any person irrespective of his position in corrupt or criminal activities,” said BJD Spokesman Rabi Narayan Nanda.