ED Grills Odisha MLA’s Son Prayas Kanti For 18 Hours In BSET Financial Irregularities Case

Bhubaneswar: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) grilled BJD MLA Prafulla Samal’s son Prayas Kanti Samal for over 18 hours  in connection with its investigation into multicrore-rupee misappropriation at a private engineering college in Odisha’s Bhadrak district.

He was seen leaving the ED office here around 4.30 am on Wednesday. He, however, told mediapersons that no questions were put forth to him. Prayas Kanti deposed before the agency a week after his MLA father appeared for interrogation on February 28. Samal was quizzed for around 8 hours.

According to sources, the ED has retrieved information as well as deleted data from mobile phones seized from him. “We have enough evidence against Prayas Kanti,” said an ED source.

The central agency had earlier seized Rs 9 lakh in cash and a high-end car of a real estate company from Prayas Kanti’s house in Palaspalli area on February 16. It had conducted simultaneous searches at 10 places in Bhubaneswar and Bhadrak, the previous day, as part of their ongoing inquiry under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The case can be traced back to a First Information Report (FIR) filed by the Odisha Police in 2016 and the investigation was initiated under various Sections of the IPC and the Explosive Substances Act.

Prayas Kanti is accused of misappropriating crores of rupees of Barapada School of Engineering and Technology (BSET). While he along with BSET secretary Manoj Kumar Goswami and others, is accused of misappropriating the society funds through acts of “forgery and deceit”, ED strongly suspects his MLA father’s link in the irregularities.

The MLA earlier held a position in BSET while his son was its former president.

Sources further said that funds were embezzled through irregularities in income, expenditure and construction work and used for acquiring property in the name of BSET for personal monetary gains. Forged and fabricated documents were also used to purchase and sale the property of the college.

Prafulla Samal, presently an MLA from Bhandaripokhari in Bhadrak district, was a Cabinet minister in the Naveen Patnaik government.

Briefing reporters at his Bhadrak residence, 76-year-old legislator had earlier described the ED action as vindictive and politically motivated.


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