Bhubaneswar: The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Odisha crime branch on Thursday June 30 arrested Ardhendu Das, editor of an Odia news channel, for allegedly cheating a businessman of Rs 1 crore.
The EOW is yet to make any official statement on the case. The officials picked up Das from his relative’s house in Nayagarh district on Wednesday night. After questioning him over several hours, Das was arrested allegedly duping Gagandeep Singh Chawla, a Delhi-based businessman, for about Rs 1 crore, police said.
According to sources, the editor had a deal with Chawla for supply of equipment to set up his TV studio in October 2020. He had procured the equipment paying some advance. However, it was alleged that Das has not paid dues to the businessman.
Based on a complaint lodged by Chawla, the EOW registered a case against Das on June 23. The police had served notice to the scribe, who had reportedly agreed to appear before the EOW on July 1.
However, Das rubbished the charges framed against him. “We have returned many of the supplied equipment to Chawla as those were of poor quality and unusable for broadcast,” Das told media persons before his arrest.
Meanwhile, two more ‘cheating’ cases have been filed against the editor at Purighat police station in Cuttack and Badagada police station in Bhubaneswar. In both the cases, the complaints have alleged that Das has not paid their dues.
Nishit Agarwal, a Cuttack based businessman has lodged a complaint against Das at Purighat police station alleging that Das has not paid about Rs 4.5 lakh dues pending against supply of furniture for his studio.
Similarly, a man lodged a complaint at Badagada police station here alleging that Das has yet to pay the rent of around Rs 4 lakh against the house where his studio has been set up. “Allegations against me related to the other two cases are also false,” Das claimed.
The journalist further alleged that action has been taken against him intentionally for exposing the state government. He requested people to stand with him.