The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday conducted raids at the residence and office of Ashirbad Behera, the former secretary of the Odisha Olympic Association (OOA), in a land grabbing case. An eight-member team raided the office at Barabati Stadium and the residence located in Cuttack city. Many important documents were seized and several officials of the OOA were questioned. On April 3, a Supreme Court division bench ordered the CBI to probe the financial irregularities at Barabati Stadium and land grab allegations based on a report of the Accountant General (AG). The OOA got 22 acres of government land on lease for the construction of 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 them where various business establishments developed earning revenue for the OOA. Barabati Palace and 23 shops were built on the land, said sources. In September 2016, a judicial committee headed by the Cuttack district judge submitted its report regarding the discrepancies in the land lease. The apex court had asked Behera to stay away from the secretary post during the investigation in March 2016.