STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
Bhubaneswar, 7 February
Even as the state government suspended one crime branch DSP for allegedly threatening Mr Alok Jena, the petitioner in the Supreme Court seeking CBI probe into the multi-crore chit fund scam in Odisha, well-known rights outfit Lok Shakti Abhiyan questioned the “role” of the chief minister and a couple of senior bureaucrats in the whole “episode”.
The president of LSA Mr Prafulla Samantara, who addressed media persons here, suspected that the DSP in question Mr Pramod Panda is being made a sacrificial lamb, while those who might have conspired the threat and a probable attempt on Mr Jena&’s life are yet to be brought to fore and be punished. “It should be probed if the intimidation was a conspiracy by the state government and its crime branch with chit fund companies. It is suspected that at least two bureaucrats~ one IAS officer and one IPS officer~ are involved in threatening Mr Jena to withdraw the PIL from Supreme Court. The whole matter should be probed by the CBI,” said Mr Samantara. Mr Samantara also sought police protection for Mr Jena.“The DSP had taken video clippings and photographs of the flat and also the road leading to the house where Mr Jena was staying in New Delhi. It might be that he had hired any contract killer to eliminate Mr Jena by giving the sketch, road map of the enclave, photo of the flat and his photograph,” said Mr Samantara. He alleged that the DSP Mr Panda attempted to gain access to the flat where Mr Jena was staying in New Delhi on 19 January by falsely claiming himself to be a police official from West Bengal. Mr Jena had lodged an FIR in this connection in Dwarka PS.
The DSP allegedly met Mr Jena in person near the Supreme Court and threatened him later. Mr Samantara sought immediate and prompt action by the state government. “The chief minister who is also the home minister should come clean on these issues. We suggest that the matter be handed over to the CBI,” he said.
Meanwhile, thousands of the victims of the chit fund scam in the state took part in a rally organised in Bhubaneswar to exert pressure on the government to refund them their deposited sums. They also sought a probe by the CBI under the direct supervision of the Supreme Court.