Swindlers of the Samaja funds stay safe by framing up Braja Bhai

Sting operation was about to expose Manubhai Patel, but the ex-GM had saved him

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

A Cuttack Court failed to use its judicial wisdom to grant bail to Braja Bhai, presently in judicial custody in a motivated police case, too dazzled as it was by parade of a different episode in which he was framed up, necessitating the Supreme Court’s grace for granting of bail. But, exclusive information under our possession makes it clear to us that in that case too, he was wrongfully implicated. The real culprits – Manubhai Patel, Manorama Mohapatra and Satya Paul et al – who had swindled the funds of the Samaja, have stayed safe till date, because a retired IAS officer Dandanirodh Mishra, similar to the one presently in occupation of GM post in the paper, had then used his influence in administration to frame up Braja Bhai in order to save the swindlers.

Mishra has reminded Manubhai in a caustic communication of how the three of them are under “Democle’s Sword” with Braja Bhai having made his statement in the misappropriation case pending against him and how embarrassing it would be to the three of them when the process of investigation would eventually end. “(It) would be a matter of serious discussion in the State, to your embarrassment and the embarrassment of the Board of Management, especially when the process of investigation pertaining to misappropriation of Rs.97.00 lakhs from the Samaja account is yet to be completed, with Democle’s Sword hanging on you, on Smt. Manorama Mohapatra and Shri Satya Paul as per statement of Braja Bhai”, he has told Maubhai Patel.

“Had I not taken the right step at the right time, I am afraid, now you would have been in jail instead of Sri Braja Bhai”. This is how ex-general manager of The Samaja, Dandanirodh Mishra recapitulated his role in a letter to Manubhai Patel, the then chief of Servants of the People Society (SoPS) on 25.07.2007.

He had even saved Patel from being caught in sting cam while bartering away independence of the Samaja to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik against Rs.50.00 lakhs of slush money on 15.11.2006.

Patel, as President of SoPS that has kept Orissa’s premier daily – the ‘Samaja’ – in capture, had pledged publicity support to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik against a sum of Rs. 50 lakhs, through a mediator he was relying upon, says a reliable sourse.

When he was proceeding to Puri on the appointed day to receive the slush money in person, Mishra, having gotten a whisper about sting cameras waiting for the transaction to take place., had saved Patel from the sure-to-occur exposure by warning both him and the CM and by arranging a talk between both of them on the road over the phone.

“You are aware that I had saved you from embarrassment, humiliation and ignominy by requesting the Chief minister to have a telephonic discussion with you when you were rushing to Puri on 15th November 2006 to collect a sum of Rs.50.00 lakhs as promised to you over telephone by somebody (whom you assumed to be the Chief Minister) without meeting the Chief Minister as per the scheduled programme”, Sri Mishra had later written to Patel while leaving the organization. It clearly indicates that a program was scheduled for transaction of the slush money on November 15, 2007.

From a document signed by Mishra, it transpires that he, as the GM of the Samaja, had “unearthed misappropriation of Rs.97,08,500.00 from the accounts of the Samaja”. And had “taken action” against Braja bhai and others for the same.

But that, Braja bhai was framed up to keep the real culprit under cover, is clear from what Mishra has told Patel in his letter No. 253/GM/2007 dated 25.07.2007. In this letter, he has told Patel, “Had I not saved you, instead of you driving out Braja Bhai from life membership by invoking the emergency power under the provision of the constitution of the SoPS as per my suggestion, you would have been removed by Braja Bhai with sufficient adverse evidences against you”.

So it is clear that Mishra had suggested Patel to dismiss Braja Bhai from SoPS by invoking emergency powers of the President. With this confession of Mishra, it is also clear that he had willfully implicated Braja Bhai in the misappropriation case to save the skin of Manubhai and his two other partners in the crime, namely Manorama Mohapatra and Satya Paul.

And, therefore, to us it is clear that Braja Bhai has not committed the misappropriation as alleged. A highlander by birth, born in Mayurbhanj, he is by nature a simple man, too proud to commit crimes like misappropriation of funds of the paper he had given a new birth to. Employees gratefully remember how he had spent days and nights to help some of them get deadicted. Employees gratefully remember how he had for the first time given them refreshment environment in honor of their human rights. He is a man, who, employees believe, cannot misappropriate the funds of the Samaja he is so devoted to.

Onus lies on the management of the Samaja and the police to prove their charges against Braja Bhai; but for so many years they have been limping and the false charges are continuing to harass the man willfully framed up by the stooges of the real culprits, as Dandanirodh’s letter to Manubhai Patel reveals.

Patel makes SoPS a sanctuary of retired rouges

When Patel has recaptured SoPS by way of a forged election, which according to the District Judge of Cuttack in F.A.O. No 113 of 2012, “appears to have no prima-facie sanction of the Constitution of SoPS”, a retired IAS officer S.C.Mantry has been used as GM to file cases against Braja Bhai.

It seems, he has a history of using retired rogues from IAS cadre to conduct illegal operations in the Samaja, specifically in prosecuting Braja Bhai; because, prior to Mantry, as confessed by retired IAS officer Dandanirodh Mishra, he was also used by Patel to put Braja Bhai behind the bars.

The confession of Mishra has manifested in his parting letter to Manubhai Patel when he has told him, “had I not taken the right step at the right time, I am afraid, now you would have been in jail instead of Sri Braja Bhai”. He has admitted that he had taken the so-called “right step at the right time” to send Braja Bhai into the judicial custody in order only to safeguard the “prestige and safety” of Manubhai Patel.

Another retired IAS officer – K.C.Mahapatra – was also planted by Manubhai to exploit the Samaja and to serve his personal interests at the cost of the paper, Mishra has said.

In Para 6 of his parting letter, he has narrated how Manubhai had taken Mahapatra as his adviser “with authority that he shall render advice and report on any issue relating to the business of SoPS in Orissa in particular reference to the Samaja”. Mahapatra was given all the powers to intervene in every matter of the paper including editorial policies and business processes. And the Samaja was to bear the burden of his personal expenses and to look after his comforts. But, all this was designed to help Mahapatra use the influence of the Samaja for personal business in which Manubhai has his share. “As Shri Mahapatra is constructing a Hotel near Rasulgarh of Bhubaneswar, his appointment was an award to him at the expenses of the Samaja in exchange of his service in the game-plan to expedite my oust from the organization”, Mishra has noted.

Dubious board of advisers

Now a pack of retired fellows from various wings of civil services have been appointed as advisers of the Samaja. These fellows have neither any experience nor any expertise in journalism.

Senior journalist Prasanta Patnaik has challenged them in social media like the facebook to reveal as to what sort of function they are performing in the paper and why have they accepted the appointment as advisers when they know they have no journalistic contributions to make and nowhere in newspaper establishments such advisers are appointed and provided for in either wage boards or Press Commission reports.

To us, the nefarious design is contrived to subjugate journalistic wisdom to idiocrasies of non-journalists.

“Remove Braja Bhai by hook or by crook”

That Patel has the uncommon knack for using retired IAS and IPS officers to defend himself in difficult situations and to offend and harass whomsoever he feels to be disadvantageous to his personal ambitions is well on records by confession of Dandanirodh Mishra, whom he had used to victimize Braja Bhai.

Dandanirodh was recruited by Patel for the post of GM of the Samaja and used by him to remove Braja Bhai from position and then was pushed into a situation where there was no way for him than resigning.

He has confessed this in the following term in his parting letter addressed to Manubhai: “I think, the sole purpose for which you brought me to the organization – to remove Braja Bhai by hook or by crook – has already been achieved and you do not require me any further”.

The fellows now basking under epithets like advisors may gain by going through the experience of Dandanirodh Mishra.

Truth peeps out

Mishra’s parting letter is relevant in many respects.

He had unearthed a misappropriation amounting to Rs. 97, 08,500.00 from the accounts of the Samaja. Out of this amount, a sum of Rs. 47, 08,500.00 was misappropriated by Sri Satya Paul, life member and close associate of Manubhai Patel. Mishra says that he was “pressurized not to take any action against Shri Satya Paul in the misappropriation of a sum of Rs. 47,08,500.00” even though the misappropriation case was instituted on the FIR lodged by him.

Manubhai’s readiness to pledge support of the Samaja to chief minister Naveen Patnaik for Rs. 50.00 lakhs added to the amount allegedly misappropriated by Satya Paul makes out the total sum of 97,08,500.00, which, according to Mishra’s FIR was misappropriated from the accounts of the Samaja.

Was Manubhai the man who misappropriated the sum of Rs. 50.00 lakhs from the Samaja and on unearthing of the same, had tried to organize the said amount from slush funds that Naveen Patnaik was handling, in order to set the records of the Samaja funds right?

Mishra has not told of that. But he has revealed in no uncertain terms that after the FIR was lodged by him, he was “called twice to Delhi to meet them (Shri I. K. Gujral and Justice R. Sachar – the trustees) in the residence of Shri I. K. Gujral (former Prime Minister of India) to explain everything pertaining to the misappropriation of Rs.97,08,500.00” when in those meetings, Manubhai along with Shri P. M. Mehta, Shri Omkar Chand, Shri Ranjit Singh and Shri Satya Paul were also remaining present.

“A lot of pressure was put on me to release a sum of Rs. 75.00 lakhs approximately in favor of M/s Poddar Global Ltd as per their claim”, Mishra has said.

Police/CBI investigation is necessary

It needs police /CBI investigation to ascertain if the misappropriated money of the Samaja, at least the sum of Rs.50.00 lakhs for which needle of suspicion points to Manubhai, was to be adjusted from that payment. Such investigation may gain from analyzing as to why Dandaniraodh has told Manubhai that he would have been in jail instead of Braja Bhai had he not saved him and why he feels that Democle’s sword is hanging on Manubhai, Manorama Mohapatra and Satya Paul linking the same to Braja bhai’s statement in course of investigation.

Investigation is also required on whether, as revealed by Dandanirodh Mishra, on 15 November 2006, Manubhai Patel was to receive Rs. 50.00 lakhs clandestinely from Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, which was abandoned in fear of sting cameras and if that “programme” was “scheduled”, for what purpose the CM was to give him that money.

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