With the arrest of Trinamool Congress MP Kunal Ghosh, the developments in the multicrore Saradha scam took a new turn. Ghosh, the media CEO of Sharada group, has been arrested as a partner in the conspiracy along with Sudipta Sen, the chit fund chief.
A close confidant of Chief Minister, Ghosh’s role in the fraud was quite visible from the beginning. However, he has not been arrested despite 11 appearances before police in the last eight months. His luck run out when he spilled the beans in public about the role of top TMC leaders in the biggest ever financial fraud in West Bengal.
The Rajya Sabha MP had claimed that the media arm of the Saradha Group had been set up with the sole aim of promoting West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee as the country’s next Prime Minister. He said that the CM had turned a blind eye to the Saradha wrongdoings despite having knowledge about it.
Apprehending immediate arrest, Ghosh also wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, demanding a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the scam. He also filed a complaint against the Bidhannagar Police deputy commissioner, alleging he was being blackmailed by the officer.
The Rs. 20,000 crore Saradha Group scam was exposed in April this year with the arrest of its owner Sudipta Sen and other top associates, who were running a Ponzi scheme through a consortium of companies. Ghosh’s name figured among a couple of TMC ministers and MPs, who were linked with the scam. The scam duped at least 1.7 million investors and led many investors and agents to commit suicide.
Farcical investigations into the scam have failed to book the culprits and seizing of huge property of the group.
A few hours after his arrest, Kunal Ghosh posted 12 names on his Facebook wall -- a list that included chief minister Mamata Banerjee and other party heavyweights, whom he said “knew everything”. The names he finally posted on Facebook included that of the party’s all-India general secretary Mukul Roy, MPs Suvendu Adhikari, KD Singh and Srinjoy Bose among others. The police swung into action and by Sunday morning the post was deleted, but not before it was widely reported in the media.
In the meanwhile, Biman Basu, Secretary of CPI (M) West Bengal State Committee and the Chairman of West Bengal Left Front Committee, has reiterated the demand for a CBI probe into the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scandal. He was responding to queries from the media.
Biman Basu said that when the statement of Ghosh has brought to the surface many names and when it has also been supported by another TMC MP Somen Mitra then it becomes the right of the people to know what has actually happened. But truth cannot be revealed if the local police conducts the investigation. The way the names of the top functionaries of the administration are being linked, no one can keep faith on the investigation run by the state Government. The Left Front demanded a CBI investigation under the supervision of court of law in the recent past as the scam involved numbers of state and many of them demanded CBI probe. Now after the explosive allegation of a TMC MP who himself was the CEO of the Saradha media group it appears as only the CBI probe can bring out the reality, articulated Biman Basu. Leader of the opposition in Assembly Surjya Kanta Mishra has demanded a CBI investigation to unravel the truth.
Kolkata, November 25, 2013