Odisha chit fund scam: Computer centre run by DSP Pramod Panda under CBI scanner

Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, Dec 18:

The CBI, during the course of its investigation into the Odisha chit fund scam, has stumbled upon evidence that Artha Tatwa (AT) group funds had been diverted to the account of a computer centre in the city named Zee Institute of Creative Arts (ZICA), run by Gitanjali Ppanda, the wife of DSP Pramod Panda, who has been questioned twoce in two days, reliable sources in the agency told OST.

Pic: Biswaranjan Msihra
Pic: Biswaranjan Msihra

Panda is believed to have been questioned about the highly suspicious money transfer from the AT group to the computer centre run by his wife.

CBI got the first clue about the dubious links betweeen ZICA and AT group during a raid  at DSP Pramod Panda’s residence in Bhadrak on November 18, the sources said.

ZICA, which offers courses in animation, multimedia, visual FX, computer graphics and web editing, is a franchisee of the Zee Learn Group. Launched in 2004-05, it has its head office in Sahid Nagar in the city, a divisional office in Niladri Vihar and a sub divisional office in Baleswar, Ashok Kumar Senapati, Bhubaneswar Centre Manager, told OST.

ZICA Saheed Nagar head office used to serve the pass certificates to students of all centres, he said.

Asked about ZICA’s links with the AT group, money invested by the tainted company in the computer centre, Senapati answered, “I have been dealing with the educational part for 10 years now. But it is Madam Oanda who deals with the financial answer this question.”

Senapati said Mrs. Panda had not visited the centre in the last fortnight or so. But he admitted that Pramod Panda did visit the centre once in a while.

In June 2014, the Niladrivihar ZICA centre was shut down by the authorities, said Senapati failing to provide the reason behind the closure of the centre.

Reports said Prativa Devi School of Nursing is being run at Niladrivihar ZICA centre after it shut down in June this year.

The central agency is now grilling Pramod to extract details of the huge amount taken by him from the AT group for facilitating land deals in Baleswar and interrogate him on the diversion of funds from the chit fund company to the computer centre run by his wife.

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