BJD supremo and Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik
BJD supremo and Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik

Ranjit Mahanti

THE Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday arrested three more politicians – a Biju Janata Dal (BJD) Member of Parliament (MP) and two former Member of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) – for their alleged involvement in state-based chit fund scam in Odisha. They have been arrested on allegations of criminal conspiracy, cheating and diversion of funds.

According to CBI spokesperson Kanchan Prasad, the accused identified as BJD MP from Mayurbhanj Ramachandra Hansda, his party colleague and former MLA Subarna Naik and former BJP MLA Hitesh Bagarti. On October 31, the CBI had arrested BJD MLA Prabhat Tripathy for his alleged links with the state-based Artha Tatwa group.

Meanwhile, the BJD suspended Hansda and Naik from the party. They had earlier suspended Tripathy soon after his arrest.

The CBI has so far arrested 14 persons, including former Odisha advocate general Ashok Mohanty, three media house owners and a Mumbai-based model, for their alleged links with chit fund companies that are accused of swindling thousands of crores from gullible depositors.

The CBI has registered 44 cases against equal number of chit fund companies in the state. AT group and Seashore group are among the biggest companies.

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