Bhubaneswar: Disproportionate assets to the tune of Rs. 6,97,15,057 was found in the possession of dismissed police constable Prasanna Behera following simultaneous Vigilance raids carried out October 28, a press release of the department stated Monday.
Separate teams of the Odisha anti-corruption agency had conducted the raids Thursday at five different places linked to the constable who was previously working in Commissionerate Police-Bhubaneswar.
Behera illegally operated the South City Bar, where senior journalist Navin Das’ son Manish Anurag had drinks along with some of his friends prior to being killed by them over payment of bill.
Based on allegations that Behera possessed assets disproportionate to his known sources of income, the Vigilance sleuths had raided.
According to an official source, the house searches were conducted on the strength of a Warrant issued by the Special Vigilance Judge, Bhubaneswar under miscellaneous case (No-9/2021 regarding the possession of disproportionate assets by Prasanna Kumar Behera, son of Sri Sadananda Behera, ex-constable in Commissionerate Police-Bhubaneswar). Behera was dismissed from services following his arrest for allegedly running South City Bar in Patrapada area.
Five searched places include a residential quarter (No-G/12-Police) near Kalpana Square and its extension building, M/s Spark Furniture Private Limited at Dumduma, a furniture workshop at Santha Vihar in Lingipur, South City Bar located at Patrapada and a double-storey building at Behera’s native village in Nuapada of Khurda district.
Separate teams led by two Deputy SPs, six Inspectors and several other Vigilance officials were engaged in the house searches.
“After thorough searches, inventory and further enquiry, the income, expenditure and assets of Sri Prasanna Kumar Behera, Ex-Constable and his family members were calculated and they were found in possession of assets disproportionate to the known sources of income to the tune of Rs.6,97,15,057/- (Rupees Six crore Ninety-seven lakh Fifteen thousand Fifty-seven) which constitutes 221% of their known sources of income,” the official communique of Vigilance read.
As Behera and his family members were found in possession of the disproportionate assets which they could not account for satisfactorily, Vigilance PS case (No-32, dated the 30.10.2021 was registered in Bhubaneswar against constable Behera, including his spouse and family members U/s 13 (2) r/w 13 (1)(B) and 12 of PC Act, 1988 as amended by Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Act, 2018.
Behera is presently in judicial custody in connection with Tamando PS case (No-221, dated-22.10.2021) since October 23. Detailed probe into the case is underway, the Vigilance press release mentioned.
It is pertinent to mention here that a day after his suspension, the constable was arrested for illegally operating the South City Bar.
During investigation, police came to know that the South City Bar was being run sans a valid license and in violation of the Covid-19 guidelines. It was being operated by constable Behera who is the president of Havildar and Constables Association (HCA)-Odisha.