(Eds: Adding OTV's statement) Bhubaneswar, Nov 1 (PTI) The Economic Offences Wing of Odisha Police on Sunday arrested Manoranjan Sarangi, a director of Odisha InfraTech Private Limited, on the charge of illegally purchasing a land parcel, police said.
Sarangi is also the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of OTV Network -- a private television channel owned by BJP leader Baijayant Panda's family.
Odisha InfraTech was found involved in fraudulent purchase of the land parcel at Sarua village in Begunia tehsil in Khurda district, an official statement by the EOW said.
A fortnight ago, the state government had ordered a Crime Branch inquiry based on the allegations made by some scheduled caste persons of the village.
'During enquiry, prima facie it was revealed that one company named Odisha InfraTech Private Limited purchased land belonging to scheduled caste persons circumventing rules/laws using forgery/cheating/intimidation and other dubious methods with an intention to cause losses to SC people,' the statement said.
The EOW is under the Crime Branch of the state police.
A case has been registered under section IPC sections 420 (cheating), 423 (dishonest or fraudulent execution of deed of transfer), 467 (forgery of valuable security, will, etc), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged document or electronic record) and 120B that pertains to criminal conspiracy, an official said.
Besides, charges under Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act have also been levelled, he said.
In a statement, OTV said that the arrest without any prior notice is a sign of the state government's vendetta against the network.
'The previous manifestation(s) of their rage were the 13 odd false cases filed against OTV over the past two months -- Some of these cases were granted interim relief by the court,' said Litisha Mangat, the operating officer of Odisha Television Ltd.
'No surprise they felt the need to fabricate something new and everybody in Odisha is widely aware of the attacks on OTV,' she said.
Meanwhile, Sarangi's family objected to the way in which the EOW sleuths picked him up from his residence early morning.
His daughter Gyatri alleged that her father, who is diabetic with high blood pressure, was denied medicine.
'I was picked up early morning without any intimation and the police meted out inhuman treatment. I was harassed without any fault,' said Sarangi after being arrested.
Police took him to the Capital Hospital before being produced at a court, an official said.
The opposition BJP and Congress condemned the arrest, terming it 'political vendetta' by the state's BJD government.
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