Senior IAS officer striped off all official duty

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Bhubaneswar, Apr 29 (UNI) Senior IAS officer Priyabrata Pattnaik, the Secretary of Commerce and Transport Department was today stripped off all official responsibility after police interrogated him yesterday in the Budhia coach Biranchi Das murder case.

According to official notification, the senior IAS officer would be placed as Officer Without Duty(OWD) and would report to the General Administration Department.

Mr Pattnaik was also appointed the Nodal Officer of the POSCO project besides Chairman-cum-Managign Director of the state-run Orissa State Road Transport Corporation.

Energy Secretary Suresh Chandra Mohapatra will hold the additional charge of Commerce and Transport, while Special Secretary Guru Ray will hold the additional charge of the Chairman-cum-Managing Director of the Orissa State Road Transport Corporation.

The state government had also decided to issue a separate notification for the appointment of Nodal Officer for the Rs 51,000 crore POSCO Project in Orissa, the largest FDI in the country.

Mr Pattnaik during interrogation had admitted that he had once met gangster Raja Acharaya, the prime suspect in Coach Biranchi Das murder case on March 16 last, at the Judo Association Hall along with Biranchi Das for over 30 minutes to sort out the issue of album girl Lesli Tripathy on the request of her father.

Lesli had filed an FIR with the local Police station alleging that Raja Acharaya had been forcing her to marry or face dire consequences.The IAS officer said since he knew Biranchi for long 13 years he agreed to meet Raja Acharaya whom the coach knew to resolve the issue.

Meanwhile, Akhaya Behera alias Chagala, a close associate of Raja Acharaya and a co-accused in the Biranchi Das murder case, today appeared for polygraph test.

He was arrested in Bhopal while appearing for a live interview in a local TV channel and subsequently brought to Orissa on transit remand by a special police team.

Chagala was produced before the SDJM court here on April 24 last who remanded him to five day police custody for further interrogation.

His remand was further extended for three days by the SDJM.

Senior IAS officer Priyabrata Pattnaik's name cropped up during the interrogation of Chagala as he claimed that Raja Acharaya had met Priyabrata Pattnaik before killing Biranchi Das who was shot dead at close range on April 13 last before the Judo Association Hall here.

UNI DP SJC MIR KP2306

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