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A mental wreck, Saradha boss needs psychiatric help

Moves around aimlessly and mumbles words that none understands.

kolkata Updated: Sep 17, 2016 10:03 IST
Ravik Bhattacharya
Sudipta Sen (in blue shirt) being brought down from a police van on April 26, 2013. (HT Photo)

Spare a thought for this man. Three years back, he was a plump, suave chief executive in a pin-stripe three-piece, zooming around in expensive cars -- each day a new one from his collection of 64 vehicles. After all, his worth then was over 2,500 crore.

Today, Sudipta Sen, the much-disgraced owner of the scam-tainted Saradha group, is a mere shadow of his former self. In jail since the summer of 2013, he has lost half his body weight. Once seen with the high and mighty, Sen today wanders around aimlessly within Alipore jail, mumbling words to himself that no one understands.

Read: Is Bengal the Ponzi capital of India?

Worried prison officials have moved Sen to a separate cell so that they can monitor his movements closely. “His is not well. He speaks incoherently and sometimes wanders aimlessly outside his cell. On Thursday evening, he even fainted a few times. We have called in doctors and a psychologist,” said a senior official of Alipore jail who did not wish to be named.

“What is even more alarming is that Sudipta Sen has almost given up eating and his body weight is decreasing by the day. He is just skin and bones now. Our jail officers are constantly counselling him,” said the jail official.

On Thursday, so weak Sen was that he fainted while being transferred from one cell to another. Jail officials say that when he was revived by doctors, he began speaking incoherently. After which it was decided to seek psychiatric help.

Sudipta Sen, chairman and Debjani Mukherjee, executive director of Saradha. Both are in jail for more than three years. (HT Photo)

Unlike the high-profile former minister Madan Mitra, for whom a jail cell was refurbished to include an attached bathroom and all, Sen has been lodged in a 7 ft X 5 ft room for the past three years. His neighbours in jail included dreaded criminals like Aftab Ansari and crooks. Many say that all this has led to Sen’s acute depression.

Read: Saradha scam: ED traces Sen’s property worth Rs 1,600 crore

Sudipta Sen was arrested by the police in April 23, 2013, from Kashmir, where he had fled after the chit fund bubble burst. The CBI is investigating the scam, but little headway has been made and it is likely that Sen will have to spend many more years behind bars.

Another accused in the Saradha scam, Trinamool MP Kunal Ghosh, is also behind bars for about three years. He has also shown signs of acute depression and had tried to commit suicide once. Ghosh is now undergoing psychiatric treatment and is under constant surveillance by jail officials.