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HindustanTimes Fri,24 Oct 2014

Saradha Group chit fund scam singes Bengal

Sumanta Ray Chaudhuri, Hindustan Times  Kolkata, April 21, 2013
First Published: 01:33 IST(21/4/2013) | Last Updated: 11:39 IST(21/4/2013)

Thousands of citizens took to the streets across West Bengal on Saturday, some fuming and others with tears rolling down their eyes, agitating against the Saradha group chit fund institution after the virtual collapse of the company in which they had invested their life's savings.

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In Durgapur, an agent of Saradha named Yadav Majhi, committed suicide allegedly after he came under depositors' ire to return their money.

Irate mobs, comprising investors and agents of the company, ransacked the offices of the Saradha group in several districts across the state. The protests even led to clashes with the police in some areas.

The ripples from the crisis stemming from the collapse of the Saradha Group - one of eastern India's biggest chit fund companies - reached the doorstep of chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday as nearly 1,000 agents and former employees thronged her residence to seek her help in recovering their dues.

The Saradha group, promoted by Sudipto Sen, has interests in fields like realty, education and media, among others.

The group's connection with Trinamool Congress became evident after the party's Rajya Sabha member, Kunal Ghosh, was appointed by Sen as his group's media CEO.

Sen is however absconding now. CM Mamata Banerjee who also holds the home portfolio has ordered Sen's arrest and the Intelligence Branch (IB) of the state police has sent messages to all police units to nab him.

But the Saradha chit fund is just the tip of the iceberg as there are 400 such chit funds operatinTrinamool memverg in the state, mopping up of crores of depositors' money.


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