EOW searches Sambad Group’s office without warrant

Bhubaneswar: The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Odisha Police today carried out searches at Sambad Group’s office for the fourth consecutive day.

As part of the investigation, the EOW officials seized the hard disc of several computers of Sambad Group even though the media house has been fully cooperating the agency in its probe.

They even did not allow the employees of the media organisation to clone the hard disc for backup. Interestingly, when they were asked to show warrant, they said seizures can be done even without warrant.

The EOW had registered a case against Sambad Group under Sections 506, 467, 468, 471, 420 and 120-B of the IPC as per a complaint lodged by a former employee of the media house.

However, the investigating agency is yet to provide any FIR copy to the media organisation.

The EOW had earlier questioned Sambad Group CEO and Publisher Kamalakanta Mahapatra in connection with the case. Its officials had also visited Sambad Group’s office on September 18.

The media organisation furnished all documents to the EOW and expressed its commitment to cooperate in the investigation.

Besides, Sambad Group’s GM (HR) Baijayanti Kar deposed before the investigating official on September 19 at its office.

Despite this, the EOW officials carried out searches at the office of Sambad Group in the capital city here today afternoon without producing any warrant.

It is worth mentioning here that the EOW registered the case against Sambad Group a few days after its Editor Soumya Ranjan Patnaik penned two editorials raising certain issues regarding the chopper rides of 5T secretary VK Pandian and the governance model in Odisha.

The media house was also barred from state government advertisements. Besides, several private companies and business establishments were threatened not to release advertisements to Sambad Group.

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