Bhubaneswar/ Kendrapara: The Special Task Force (STF) of the Crime Branch Tuesday handed over files of some government officials to the Vigilance Department to probe if these babus had granted undue favours to the arrested gangster Tito. The Vigilance Department will also probe whether any government official had any nexus with the gangster.
According to official sources, the STF has handed over a file of containing ‘evidence’ of Tito’s alleged links with government officials to the Vigilance Department. Now, the Vigilance Department will undertake a probe to establish how Tito set up his business empire with the help of government officials, especially those based in Kendrapara. The Vigilance Department plans to expose the government officials who have been helping Tito to establish his empire and make crores of rupees through winning tender bids, sand and morrum leases, petrol pump license, registration of his numerous vehicles etc.
The Vigilance Department will take the help of senior police officials, Revenue Department officials, officials in the Engineering and Works Departments in Kendrapara district during the probe. According to sources, who requested anonymity, several officials helped Tito to get tenders, leases and licences in return of monetary gratification. All such officials would be quizzed by the Vigilance sleuths under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
If sources are to be believed, the Vigilance Department would also drag some serving as well as former senior officials of Kendrapara district administration and police department against whom Tito has given hints to STF personnel during interrogation. The names of these babus along with their departments have been handed over to the Vigilance sleuths.
According to STF sources, some former district Collectors, Sub-collectors, tehsildars, CSOs, Revenue Department officials, RTOs, Executive Engineers, senior clerks of Works and Engineering Departments , former SPs , SDPOs, and police inspectors of Kendrapara are likely to face Vigilance inquiry owing to their alleged involvement in helping Tito accumulate illegal movable and immovable properties.
Meanwhile, some officials of the Economic Offence Wing (EOW) are also probing Tito’s financial aspects after the STF wrote letter to the EOW. If official sources are to be believed, the some bank accounts of Tito, his wife Benazir and his relatives have been seized.
In a latest development, the STF police July 17 prayed before the SDJM court in Kendrapara to hand over all the seized documents and materials related to Tito and his relatives, which were seized between July 3 and 9 under the STF case No. 6, to the investigating officer of the STF PS case No 8 as they are needed in their probe. The SDJM court will give the final order on the issue next Monday after the certified copy of the seized documents is submitted before the court.
It is worth mentioning here that the Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) last week had sought a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into alleged irregularities in allotment of two retail outlets in Odisha to the family Tito.
“In view of several irregularities and seriousness of issues involved, Ministry of Petroleum, with the approval of Minister (PNG) has advised IOCL to refer the matter to CBI for thorough investigation,” an IOCL official said adding the company accordingly referred the matter to CBI for investigation and necessary action.
Several members of Tito’s gang are believed to have gone underground after he was arrested following an encounter in Jajpur district June 30. The 56-year-old gangster, who was arrested several times earlier, faces many criminal cases involving murder, attempt to murder and extortion.