Crooks rule the roost in Utkal Sammilani: Funds Embezzled, Members Muzzled

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Utkal Sammilani that fought with the British and Indian rivals for long thirty years to create Orissa a separate province of India for management of the affairs of the people in Oriya ,their mother tongue, and achieved the goal in 1936, was not registered as a society or organization. It helped a gang of self-seekers to register itself as Utkal Sammilani in 1986 in order to exploit the emotional attachment of the people of Orissa to this name.

Radhanath Rath, the very same person who had forged the ‘Will’ of Utkalmani Gopabandhu Das to usurp ‘The Samaja’, details of which are published in the book ‘The Samaja in Maze of Forgery’, led this combine of crooks as the President.

Its registered office remained in his occupation and control in Gopabandhu Bhavan, Cuttack where he was living after forging the Will of Gopabandhu.

He had known it well that the outfit will indulge in embezzlement and misappropriation of funds, creation of false records and other offenses . So, he had made a clear provision in its constitution to keep himself unanswerable to Law for all these or any offense.

Under the head ‘LEGAL ACTION’, its bylaw stipulated, “Legal action can be instituted against office bearers except the President for loss of property or misappropriation of fund of the Society. The Courts at Bhubaneswar only shall have the jurisdiction.”

When the Society was to have its registered office in the Gopabandhu Bhaban, Cuttack, why “only” the “Courts at Bhubaneswar” were to have the jurisdiction, not the Courts at Cuttack, is a conundrum, yet to be understood by the members of this Society.

However, mismanagement has not ended with death of Radhanath Rath. The present President and Secretary are alleged to have swindled and squandered away huge sums of money, allege senior members and office bearers, who, mistaking this as the same Utkal Sammilani that give the Oriya population their home State, have joined the organization and done their best to advance it.

One such member, senior Advocate and activist Gobarddhan Pujari has resigned from the position of President of Rourkela branch of the Society on the 7th January “at the call of conscience” in protest against the unending practice of illegal activities of the State leadership.

“The Treasurer , on query , stoutly stated that he had not maintained the cash book, as all the expenditures are made by the General Secretary without any intimation to him” Sri Pujari has stated in his declaration of resignation. On the basis of the accounts of the Treasurer, Pujari has stated that, “The Tresurer is not keeping the Accounts, no ‘Statement of Accounts’ is placed before the Central Executive Committee’, and office bearers, who are signing the cheques, are spending money as they like, sans audit. It is a serious criminal offense committed by an organization that is receiving funds from the Government amounting to crores of Rupees.”

In order to muzzle the members who are opposed to illegal activities, Sri Guru Prasad Mohanty and Sri Adwait Kumar Patra, illegally occupying the posts of President and General Secretary respectively, had tried to legalize their illegal functioning by holding an election of office bearers at Rourkela on 14.10.2017. The voters list was made deliberately defective and ignoring the polling panel prepared in the preceding Executive, an unknown person, introduced as ‘Commander Samal’ was planted to conduct the election. Well-meaning members opposed. To their shock, Commander Samal threatened them with intimidating words. He called them ‘Balunga’ (Bastard) and asserted how he excels in controlling the ‘Balunga’ fellows. It gave birth to such high-pitched protests that the election had to stop. It was, in order to save the organization, however, resolved to allow the office to prepare a valid voters list and complete the election by the end of three months, i.e. before 13.1.2018.

No such steps taken, Vice-President Bichitranand Sahoo, with consent of various branch Presidents, such as Binod Mohapatra (Jaypore), Dr. Rabi Ranjan Sahu (Cuttack), Manmath Padhi (Ganjam), Gajanan Mishra (Titilagarh), Bibhuti Mishra (Bhubaneswar), Dillip Dash Sharma (Mancheswar), Gobarddhan Pujari (Rourkela), Gourachandra Panda (Gajapati), Bhagaban Mahapatra (Paradip) and two other members from Rourkela namely Prasanna Kumar Nanda and Chittaranjan Das, requisitioned a meeting to complete the business postponed at Rourkela in October. The requisitioned meeting was held at the office of the organization at Bhubaneswar at 11 Am, 13.1.2018. Guru Prasad Mohanty presided. But Patra, the General Secretary neither came nor placed the valid voters list. Resolution 7 of this requisitioned meeting is significant. Sri Mohanty has signed it to confirm that affairs of the society do not run on norms. it has called upon the President and the General Secretary to stop functioning in virtueless autocratic ways and to honor the Constitution of the Society, and its decisions taken in General Body, Working Council and Executive Committee meetings meticulously. Its Resolution 6 is further significant. It has mandated that all the meetings of the aforesaid three bodies shall be held only in the central office of the organization.

Central Office functions in illicit centers

The mandate of the requisitioned meeting to have all future meetings of the central bodies in the central office was necessitated, because, despite a Type-5 bungalow allotted to the organization for its office in the most elite and well connected Unit 2, the office is functioning in the ‘bag’ of the General secretary in illicit centers and the crores of money received from the government is never deposited in the central office accounts. In the letter of requisition, Mohanty was confronted with facts that tenure of the office bearers having been over two and half years ago, they are in unauthorized and illegal occupation of office for last 30 months. They had tried to get the unaudited accounts approved in meeting held at Jaypore, which was foiled due to strong protests. But no internal audit is held as yet, when the President has reportedly drawn about Rs.10 lakhs under the pretense of traveling allowance etcetera. Thus monetary irregularities are unendingly rampant. Mohanty presided over this meeting, but neither dismissed this allegation nor clarified his position. Thus, he has confirmed the illegalities in management of the society.

Mohanti and Patra are President and General Secretary respectively of this outfit registered in the name of Utkal Sammilani. Monumental amount of grant-in-aid to the tune of crores of rupees is given to this society. But the amount does not get deposited in its Bank accounts. Authentic sources say that a gang of three using the name of Utkal Sammilani is operating a passbook in the Mancheswar branch of SBI where the cheques/ drafts received from the Government are being deposited. Government should ask the crime branch to investigate into this heinous crime, in which the entire team of office bearers, except, apparently, only two persons namely Bichitranand Sahu and Binod Bihari Mohapatra (both Vice-Presidents) is involved. The team comprises, in addition to Mohanty, Patra, Sahu and Mohapatra, Usharani Mohanty (Treasurer), Rabindranath Satapathy, Anant Prasad jena, Prafulla Mahala, Kousik Sahu and Bijayanad Singh (all Vice-Presidents), Surendra Mohan Mishra, Bimal Chandra Sarangi, Padmanabh Samal, Rabindra Mishra, Baidyanath Rath, Dasharathi Das, and Jaminikant Nayak (All Secretaries).

All of them are illegally continuing as office bearers for last two and half years, after competion of their three-years term, on the basis of a forged bylaw prepared in Oriya and receiving crores of rupees unauthorizedly from the government and deceiving the people of Orissa.

The registered bylaw of this dubious organization has given only three years to the elected office bearers. They are bound to conduct election of new office bearers before completion of three years of their tenure and hand over the charge to the new set on the day of completion of their three-year tenure. In order to stay in office beyond the stipulated tenure, they have added in the forged Oriya version that the team would continue till a new elected team takes over. This is never incorporated in the registered bylaw and hence continuation of the expired team in office, receipt by it huge sums of grant-in-aid from the government and donations from other sources and all the transaction of business during the period is absolutely illegal and unauthorized, pregnant with crimes like cheating the State and swindling the fund.

In order to burry these illegalities under the carpet of time, despite the decision taken in the requisitioned meeting presided over by their President Guru Prasad Mohanty, the gang of crooks led by Patra are reportedly organizing an election meeting at Balasore on an yet undisclosed day. The expired team has no legal right to hold elections.

As the Government has granted and given crores of rupees to this dubious organization, but despite being dubious as the people’s emotion is attached to the name ‘Utkal Sammilani’, it is incumbent upon the Government of Orissa to quickly step in and to take over this society and to hold elections under its control, on the basis of valid voters list.

Delay on part of the Government in putting these fellows except the two protesting Vice-Presidents (Sahu and Mohapatra) would lead to a further vicious situation that may affect the emotion of the people, the sacred name of Kula Gourab Madhusudan Das having been attached to Utkal Sammilani.

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