Bhubaneswar, Sep 11 (IANS) The opposition BJP Wednesday demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation inquiry into an alleged multi-crore rupees chit fund scam in Odisha.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) vice president Jual Oram said the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) government had been making contradictory statements on the matter and deliberately delaying the probe to mislead the public and to protect its own leaders involved in the scam.
"The state government claimed that the economic offence wing (EOW) of the state crime branch police has been investigating the scam relating to Artha Tatwa (AT) group which duped thousands of investors," Oram told reporters here.
"But in an reply to a recent query sought under th Right to Information Act the EOW stated that it was not probing any case against AT group. This is creating confusion," he said.
"The government must order a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the chit fund scam," he said.
The alleged scam came to light after many investors last year complained that several firms collected huge amounts of money from them promising high returns, but later refused to pay back.
Although police raided offices of several such companies and arrested a score of people for irregularities, the government appointed a one-man commission headed by retired Sikkim High Court chief Justice R.K. Patra to probe the scam.
The companies accused of allegedly duping people include the Kolkata-based Saradha Group, and Odisha-based Seashore and Artha Tatwa groups. The investors' loss from the scam is claimed to be running into billions of rupees.
The state government in July announced it would create a fund of Rs.300 crore to help the duped investors.