Forest official held for amassing disproportionate assets in Odisha

Bhubaneswar, Feb 25 (IANS) A senior forest officer was arrested in Odisha on the charge of possessing assets worth over Rs.6 crore which were disproportionate to his known sources of income.

Sudhansu Mishra, a Divisional Forest Officer of Athagarh in Cuttack, was arrested a day after the vigilance wing detected he owned movable and immovable property worth Rs.6 crore, said Vigilance Wing Director General R.P. Sharma.

The official allegedly had about Rs 1.1 crore in cash, fixed deposits of Rs.2,61,97,151, savings bank deposits of Rs.93,23,762 in various banks and post offices, insurance premium deposits of Rs.19,13,338 and gold jewellery and gold coins weighing 551.39 gm.

Sharma said remand of the arrested official would be sought to get more information about his role in smuggling, mafia links and forest clearances given for various projects.

Mishra joined the Odisha Forest Service in 1987 as an assistant conservator of forest. He was promoted as Group A officer in May 2007 and posted at different places as the DFO, vigilance sources said.

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