Saradha Group boss names Trinamool MPs, Congressmen in letter to CBI

Last Updated: Wed, Apr 24, 2013 19:11 hrs
Chit fund scam: Police gets four-day transit custody of Sudipta Sen

Kolkata: Arrested Saradha group chairman and managing director Sudipta Sen has named two Trinamool Congress MPs and some Congress leaders, including the advocate wife of a union minister , in an 18-page letter to the CBI.

In the letter dated April 6 sent to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Sen said he would be committing suicide any moment as he felt helpless as "unscrupulous persons and cheats in the society" had put him in a position in which he was unable to refund the "public money" collected in his name.

"All the names mentioned in this letter must be treated as an FIR for putting me in to a situation of and/or provoking me to committing suicide. This is my last statement", he said, in the letter which is in the possession of IANS.

Sen, who absconded after his chit-fund went bust, was arrested with two other senior officials of the company from Sonmarg in Jammu and Kashmir Tuesday.

Sen said he entered the media business after a Bengali daily started to attack him.

However, he mentioned towards the end of the missive that his business empire collapsed due to his entry into the media domain, the extortion by various persons and the blackmail by his own staff.

He named a journalist (who later became a Trinamool MP) for having complained about his company to the West Bengal government, and starting a campaign against him.

"To combat the media attack, I thought I must enter the media business," he said.

Sen said after he purchased a TV channel, the owner-editor (who also later became a Trinamool MP) and the journalist of the paper that had earlier attacked him came to him with the offer of a Rs.60 lakh-per-month arrangement with the newspaper for running the channel.

The journalist was appointed in a top position of the channel at a salary of Rs.15 lakh per month.

"(The paper) has also given me assurance that on execution of this agreement they will protect my business from the government, i.e. from state government and central government and I will be able to get a smooth passage and they assured me that they have very close connection with present C.M of West Bengal i.e Ms. Mamata Banerjee," Sen said.

He said in the past two years, the paper had taken Rs.20 crore from him for running the channel.

"Various time they have taken cash under various causes shown to me and also apart from that for running the channel for the last three years including the payment (cable operators) not less than Rs.2 crore per month," Sen wrote.

Sen said though he purchased the channel and spent not less than Rs.50 crore for it, a Trinamool MP "along with his few miscreants came to my office and forced me to sign some document and letters, which I signed without going through the contents thereof and after they have gone, I read and found that they have got me to sign as if I have sold them (the channel) for a meagre amount of Rs.55 lakh," he said.

"They also got me to sign as if I have transferred them (a) newspaper (name of the newspaper) which I have never done," he said.

Sen also accused a minister in the Tarun Gogoi government of Assam of having "cheated him".

"For the last six months he has taken from us not less than three crores, all by cash, and some vouchers have been signed by his office executives... This amount is also to be returned to the company for paying up the Bengal area creditors".

Sen said the advocate wife of a prominent Indian minister, whom he called on, had requested him to help her set up a channel in Guwahati and support her by extending Rs.42 crore to her company. He said during a period of one-and-a-half years, she was paid Rs.1 crore as consultancy fees.

The letter also accuses some other Congress leaders of Assam as also a senior official of a leading football club of Kolkata, apart from some journalists, media owners and others of having fleeced him.

 Sen has claimed that he was blackmailed and used by politicians mainly from West Bengal's ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) party, reports said.

In a letter to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Sen reportedly said he was forced to think of committing suicide as he was being blackmailed by influential politicians who were extorting money from him.

Among the 22 names that Sen has listed in the damning 18-page letter is that of TMC MP Srinjoy Bose along with "senior politicians" from Delhi, media reports said.

Bose however has refuted the charges and said even though he did do business with Saradha Group companies, their deals ended last year in May after Saradha's cheques kept bouncing.

In his letter, Sen said Trinamool leaders forced him to take over a loss-making motorcycle factory so that its employees would not be without work and affect their vote banks.

One of the reasons why his company faced hardship was because he had to pay to several politicians, he said, adding that TMC MP Kunal Ghosh who led the group's media business took a salary of Rs 16 lakhs per month.

Sen also has named the lawyer wife of a senior Congress minister in the Centre whom he had to pay along with an influential Congress MP from the northeast region.

The revelations came even as West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday announced a Rs 500-crore relief fund for small and medium-term investors who lost money in the chit fund scam of the Saradha Group that went bust last week leaving lakhs of depositors in a fix.

"We have made a provision of Rs 500 crore for relief to small and medium depositors," Banerjee told reporters.

"We will do everything for the people," she said.

She urged people to invest carefully in future.

"I want to tell people to be cautious about their investments in future," Banerjee said.

Meanwhile, a Jammu and Kashmir court on Wednesday granted four-day transit remand of Saradha Group Chairman and Managing Director Sudipta Sen and two others, who were arrested at Sonmarg area of the state on Tuesday, to the West Bengal Police.

The Jammu and Kashmir Police on Tuesday arrested Sen, Saradha Group director Debjani Mukherjee and another official Arvind Singh Chauhan in connection with the chit fund scam in West Bengal.

Sen was absconding since Saradha Group collapsed recently.

A West Bengal Police team has reached Jammu and Kashmir to take Sen and others into their custody.

Sen and others will be taken to Delhi on way to Kolkata, reports said.

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