Bhubaneswar: The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Odisha Crime Branch on January 5 arrested Surjit Kumar Dhal, owner of the web news portal ‘Reporters Today’ and the newspaper ‘Mahabharat,’ on charges of cheating. The arrest took place in Bhubaneswar concerning the PS Case No-26, dated 14.11.2023, under sections 420/467/468/471 of the IPC. Surjit, residing in the Gymkhana Palm Height Apartment near SUM Hospital, is the son of Ramakanta Dhal.
The arrest follows a complaint lodged by Kalinga Keshari Rath, a real estate businessman, who accused Surjit of defrauding him of approximately Rs 1 crore through the use of forged documents. The alleged fraud involved Surjit posing as a prominent figure in the media industry, leveraging his influence and connections. Forging documents such as fake BDA approval, he persuaded Rath to make payments totaling Rs 1 crore through various transactions, including bank transfers and cash.
Additionally, Surjit acquired a Mercedes and an Audi sedan from Rath. Upon discovering the deception, Rath demanded the return of the money and the two high-value vehicles. Even as Dhal returned the vehicles, Surjit failed to repay the amount, despite repeated requests. The complainant reported being threatened by Surjit, who claimed to use his influence to harm Rath’s business and interests.
The accused will be presented before a Designated Court under the Odisha Protection of Interests of Depositors (OPID) in Cuttack. The EOW press release highlights an ongoing comprehensive investigation into the alleged cheating case.