Odisha bank manager among three held while ferrying Rs 50 lakh cash to MLA's house
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Odisha bank manager among three held while ferrying Rs 50 lakh cash to MLA's house

Police suspect the money was to be used for creating law-and-order problem in the district by MLA’s supporters, who were blamed for the recent spate of arson in the area.

india Updated: Jan 13, 2018 23:19 IST
Debabrata Mohanty
Debabrata Mohanty
Hindustan Times, Bhubaneswar 
IndusInd Bank,Keonjhar district,MLA
Arrested bank staff were on their way to the resident of MLA Sanatan Mahakud to deliver the money. (HT Photo )

Police on Saturday arrested manager and two other staff of IndusInd Bank in Keonjhar district after they were found transporting Rs 50 lakh in cash in a car to the house of one of the state’s richest MLAs without proper documents.

They were on their way to independent MLA Sanatan Mahakud’s house in the manager’s car, said Kenojhar superintendent of police Rajesh Pandit.

“Manas Rout, manager of the bank’s Joda branch, sales officer Saroj Behera and gunman Sanatana Pradhan were arrested on charges of abetment to riots,” said the SP, alluding to a recent spate of arson and rioting, allegedly by Mahakud’s supporters, in the iron ore-rich district of Odisha.

“The money was being carried for distribution to carry out more such incidents. The manager did not have any cheques to substantiate the large volume of cash he was transporting,” said the SP.

Police said income-tax and enforcement directorate officials would be informed about the seizure.

Since last few weeks, Mahakud’s organisation, Sana Sena, has been accused of creating law and order problem in the district. On January 9, Mahakud’s supporters allegedly set fire to an office of Debapriya Patra, son of school and mass education minister Badri Patra in Anandpur.

With declared assets worth Rs 51 crore, Mahakud was one of the richest candidates in Odisha in the 2014 assembly elections. His wife Shantilata also has declared assets of Rs 18 crore.

The truck driver turned politician is believed to have made the money during the mining boom in Keonjhar between 2004 and 2008.

Recently, he announced to form a new political party—the Jana Samrudha Party-- and field candidates in all the 147 assembly constituencies in the next Odisha polls.

First Published: Jan 13, 2018 23:18 IST