Home minister says IMA boss will be caught soon

Home minister says IMA boss will be caught soon

BJP president B S Yeddyurappa demanded a CBI probe into the scam.

The IMA scam witnessed intense political slugfest on Saturday with politicians of all hues taking potshots at each other. 

BJP president B S Yeddyurappa demanded a CBI probe into the scam. A delegation of IMA investors who lost their money met him and held talks. They urged him to help protect their interests and pressure the government for a CBI probe. 

"What's the connection between IMA chief Mohammed Mansoor Khan and minister B Z Zameer Ahmed Khan? Even the chief minister had biryani with Mansoor. If this isn't handed over to the CBI, Mansoor will get off scot-free. The chief minister has to answer for this," Yeddyurappa told reporters. 

IMA investors have been meeting all politicians and social organisations to mobilise support for their fight and to pressure the government to help them get their investment back. 

Zameer, for his part, held talks with Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Dinesh Gundu Rao over the IMA fraud. "I came to brief the party president on the IMA case. I've never been indifferent when it comes to this," Zameer said.

"What can Yeddyurappa do about this but talk? I was the one who first spoke on behalf of all those who've been cheated." 

While the state government didn't comment on a media report that an IAS officer had turned down a minister's plan to bail the IMA out, Home Minister M B Patil exuded confidence that Mansoor would be arrested at the earliest. 

"We have formed teams under the supervision of top officials to nab Mansoor and he will be arrested at the earliest. We are also forfeiting the properties belonging to Mansoor and IMA. The SIT probe into the scam has also gained momentum," he said. 

To a question, Patil explained that financial activities did not come under the police jurisdiction.

"We can take action only if there are fraudulent activities like this. Tamil Nadu has empowered the police to forfeit the property of promoters in such frauds. We are considering enacting a similar law here in Karnataka," the minister added. 

A sitting MLC from Bengaluru said the government must be held responsible for the entire fiasco. "The government took no action even though police and other enforcement agencies issued multiple alerts following the Ambidant scam. It just allowed the fraudsters to flee from Bengaluru. From sitting ministers to MLAs, everyone seemed to be part of this scam," he added. 

An MLA said: "Considering the larger public interest, the government must crack down on other jewellers running similar investment schemes. The government must conduct an audit of such businessmen and randomly check their accounts and transactions. It can also request the central agencies to curb such fraudulent activities." 

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