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CBI sleuths step up Ponzi probe in Odisha.

IN THEwake of an uproar over the alleged slowdown of probe into the multi- crore chit fund scam, two senior CBI officers from Kolkata have rushed to Bhubaneswar to step up the investigations.

Sources said that CBI joint director Rajiv Singh and DIG S Bagchi reached Bhubaneswar on Thursday and held a closed- door meeting with the investigating officers for nearly three hours.

The development comes in the wake of a threat by the duped investors to launch a state- wide agitation from June 15 if the probe was not accelerated. The investors led by CPI stalwart D Raja had recently held a demonstration in the city protesting against the indifferent progress of the probe.

Ever since the CBI was asked by the Supreme Court to investigate the affairs of 44 Ponzi companies in the state, the central investigating agency had raided the premises of around 15 of them, making arrests and seizures.

While the arrest of ruling Biju Janata Dal politicians, like sitting MP Ramchandra Hansdah and MLA Pravat Tripathy, generated hope of the probe moving forward, its pace slackened unexpectedly leading to accusations that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had struck a deal with the Centre to slow down the investigation. There were allegations of a trade- off with BJD promising BJP- led NDA much needed support in the Rajya Sabha where it has seven MPs.

Significantly, the CBI had not only arrested and interrogated some senior BJD leaders, it had also questioned chief minister's personal aide Saroj Sahoo causing ripples in the political circles.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Jun 13, 2015
Words:271
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