Press Esc to close
Tuesday 31 March 2015
News updated at 8:29 AM IST
Weather
Max: 33.8°C
Min : 21.3°C
In Bengaluru
Sunny day

Bengal depositors rage over chit-fund mess, look out for Saradha promoter

Kolkata, April 21, 2013 (IANS)

Thousands of depositors vented their anger across West Bengal Saturday by attacking offices of chit fund funded Saradha Group, which is virtually on the verge of collapse, even as police arrested a senior company official and issued look-out notice for its absconding promoter Sudipta Sen, froze his bank accounts and seized papers of his properties.

"We have alerted all terminal points including airports and issued a look out notice for Sen so that he may not flee the country," said Bidhannagar Deputy Commissioner of Police Arnab Ghosh.

"We have seized the papers of all the properties of Sen and frozen his bank accounts. We have also arrested Manoj Kumar Nagel - a director of one of the group companies," he added.
Widespread protests were reported across the state as irate depositors and the agents of the group hit the streets and even attacked many of its offices. There were incidents of clashes between the agents and the depositors who demanded their money back.

Lakhs of depositors, mostly poor people in villages and small towns, had put their hard-earned money with the company's chit funds lured by the promise of high interest rates. There were unconfirmed reports of an agent commiting suicide.

The opposition Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and the Congress assailed the Mamata Banerjee government over the chit-fund mess and accused it of having a "very close relation" with such dubious companies.

"They used chit-funds for political intereststo come into power and to remain there," said Leader of Opposition Surjya Kanta Mishra, of the CPI-M. Mishra also alleged that the ruling party had used the print and electronic media under the Saradha Group for publicity.

The Saradha Group is one of the largest chit fund companies in eastern India. It has also diversified into construction, realty, tourism, hospitality, agri-businesses and media.
As capital market regulator SEBI and the Serious Fraud Investigation Office of the union corporate affairs ministry started taking action against chit fund companies for flouting rules, which raised concerns over safety of public money, pressure on the group's finances mounted.

Crisis in the group was brewing since January, which forced it to recently to wind up at least 10 media organisations - newspapers and television channels - that it had launched or acquired since 2010. Over 1,000 journalists and non-journalists have been rendered jobless.
The state Congress demanded Central Bureau of Investigation as well as SEBI probes into the group's money laundering case.

"The state government has very close relations with a few groups and people, and it stopped the government from taking appropriate actions at the correct time," said state Congress president Pradip Bhattacharya.

Denying the charges, Trinamool general secretary Mukul Roy put the blame for the mushrooming of chit funds on the erstwhile Left Front government in the state and the Congress-led UPA I government in New Delhi.

"These types of non-banking financial companies were constituted when the Left Front was in power in the state and the (Congress-led) United Progressive Alliance-I government at the centre," Roy said.

"But our government is very serious and the chief minister has said that all sorts of actions will be taken. As per my knowledge, the government is making arrangements to bring in a law," he said.

Facing severe public outrage, state Transport Minister Madan Mitra assured that his government would take "strictest" of actions against the companies for duping depositors.
Meanwhile, hundreds of agents and depositors of the Saradha Group Saturday demonstrated at Trinamool Congress' state headquarters.

A few days ago, the Banerjee government ordered the arrest of the group's chairman and managing director Sudipta Sen for defaulting on repayments.


Go to Top

Photo Gallery
People being rescued from their homes after flood water entered into their houses...

People being rescued from their homes after flood water entered into their houses...

Sunny Leone and Jay Bhanushali during the promotion of their forthcoming film 'Leela-Ek Paheli'...

Sunny Leone and Jay Bhanushali during the promotion of their forthcoming film 'Leela-Ek Paheli'...

President Pranab Mukherjee presents Padma Shri to Tarak Janubhai Mehta ...

President Pranab Mukherjee presents Padma Shri to Tarak Janubhai Mehta ...

President Pranab Mukherjee presents Padma Shri to Arunima Sinha during Padma Awards 2015 function...

President Pranab Mukherjee presents Padma Shri to Arunima Sinha during Padma Awards 2015 function...

Manohar Parrikar reviews an honor guard upon his arrival at Defense Ministry in Tokyo...

Manohar Parrikar reviews an honor guard upon his arrival at Defense Ministry in Tokyo...

Gray Heron bird seen at Madiwala Lake in Bengaluru...

Gray Heron bird seen at Madiwala Lake in Bengaluru...

Mumbai Indians' players Unmukt Chand and Parthiv Patel with the team's head coach Ricky Ponting...

Mumbai Indians' players Unmukt Chand and Parthiv Patel with the team's head coach Ricky Ponting...

Villagers try to pull the bodies of victims from the rubble after a hillside collapsed ...

Villagers try to pull the bodies of victims from the rubble after a hillside collapsed ...

Villagers watch the rescue operation at the site of a damaged house after a hillside collapsed...

Villagers watch the rescue operation at the site of a damaged house after a hillside collapsed...

A resident looks on as waters rise...

A resident looks on as waters rise...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523