Bhubaneswar: Initiating stern measures to curb corruption, the state government Friday gave premature retirement to four officials and dismissed an OAS officer, against whom the Vigilance had registered cases.
For the first time during its long tenure, the Naveen Patnaik government has ordered premature retirement of officers, sending a strong message to the government officials involved in corrupt practices.
OAS officer and Kotipada tahsildar – Pradeep Kumar Behera has been dismissed from government services. During his tenure as BDO of Komna in Nuapada, Behera was involved in corrupt practices and the Vigilance had registered a case against him in 2008 and was later convicted.
The state government gave premature retirement to Dhenkanal RTO Basanta Kumar Behera, Deputy Excise Commissioner Dillip Kumar Nag, Deputy Conservator of Forests (Khariar division) Sarat Chandra Panda and suspended assistant civil supply officer (ACSO) Ashok Kumar Majhi.
Dhenkanal RTO Basant was booked by the anti-corruption agency in 2018 for allegedly amassing assets worth `3.61 crore disproportionate to his known sources of income, while Nag was arrested in connection with a disproportionate assets case after properties worth over `1.5 crore were unearthed from his possession by the Vigilance. During the raid, the Vigilance seized cash worth `47.5 lakh from Nag’s house, which is second highest seizure from a state government employee’s house. Nag was placed under suspension between November 2012 and March 2015, official sources said.
Likewise, Panda, an Odisha Forest Service (OFS) officer, was booked by vigilance after it traced assets worth `5.23 crore possessed by him. Bank deposit of over `4.26 crore in his name and his family members’ name was detected. It was ascertained the cash was deposited by him during demonetisation in November, 2016. This is highest detection of cash in the bank account of a government employee.
Besides, Majhi, who was shown the door by the government, was booked in two Vigilance cases. He was under suspension for failing to perform his duties during cyclone Fani.