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Above: Ashirbad Behera, former secretary, Odisha Olympic Association

The residence and office of Ashirbad Behera was raided by the CBI on Friday, June 23. Behera is the former secretary of the Odisha Olympic Association (OOA).

According to agency reports, the raid was carried out in a land grabbing case. The central investigating agency raided his office at the Barabati Stadium and the residence in Cuttack city.

The reports further said that many crucial documents were seized and officials of the OOA were grilled.

Earlier in April, the Supreme Court had asked for a CBI probe, based on the Accountant General’s report which had alleged financial irregularities at the Barabati Stadium and land grab allegations.

The OOA got 22 acres of government land on lease for constructing the Barabati Stadium in 1949 but had encroached upon two acres adjacent to the vacant government land in the mid-70s.

This encroached land was further sub-leased by OOA and it earned revenue as several commercial establishments cropped up on the land over time.

In September 2016, a judicial committee headed by the Cuttack district judge submitted its report on several discrepancies in land lease.

The apex court had ordered Behera to resign from the secretary’s post during the investigation in March 2016.

India Legal Bureau

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