Odisha: BJD MLA Prafulla Samal’s Son Appears Before ED In Engineering College Funds Scam Case

Bhubaneswar: Senior Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MLA and former Minister Prafulla Samal’s son Prayas Kanti deposed before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in Odisha capital on Tuesday.

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Earlier, the legislator from Bhandaripokhari had on February 28 appeared before the central probe agency in connection with financial irregularities in an engineering college in Bhadrak. He was reportedly questioned by the ED officers for around eight hours.

The agency had summoned Samal and his son Prayas Kanti in connection with alleged financial irregularities at Barapada Engineering College in Bhadrak.

While Prayas Kanti, who used to serve as the college president, is accused of swindling college funds to buy properties and high-end vehicles in Bhubaneswar, ED strongly suspects his MLA father’s link in the irregularities. They were asked to appear with all the relevant documents.

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

On February 15, the ED had conducted searches at 10 different locations in Bhadrak and Bhubaneswar 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.

According to the central agency, Prayas Kanti, along with BSET secretary Manoj Kumar Goswami and others, were allegedly involved in misappropriating the society funds through acts of “forgery and deceit”.

“Prayaskanti Samal and his associates purportedly siphoned off crores of rupees through various financial irregularities. They are also alleged to have fraudulently diverted funds and assets, belonging to BSET, for personal gain, utilising forged and fabricated documentation,” the ED had said in a statement.

During the search operations, Rs 9 lakh cash along with a Toyota Fortuner SUV valued at Rs 40 lakh were seized. The agency also confiscated several “incriminating” documents, including undated cheques, land agreements, and digital devices, from multiple premises.

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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