Somen Mitra, who recently quit the Trinamool Congress Wednesday, blasted the Mamata Banerjee government’s inept handling of the Saradha chit fund scam.
“I had foreseen this and apart from writing to the Centre had even tried to warn Mamata Banerjee… but she never paid heed. How can she claim that she did not know anything? The state should have taken action immediately,” he said at a convention organised by Chitfund Sufferers’ Unity Forum.
Mitra said Mamata, as a leader of the Opposition, would have demanded a CBI inquiry into everything, but she is now afraid of a CBI probe into the Saradha scam. “I had written to the PM and SEBI authorities about looking into Ponzi firms, but how can you expect justice from a state government that nominates K D Singh as the Rajya Sabha member?” he said.
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Former Naxal leader Ashim Chatterjee, who is also the convenor of the forum, said: “We need to wake this government and will have to hit the streets and continue with our movement.”
He said the forum had demanded assets of these chit fund companies be sold off to pay investors and a CBI inquiry be conducted under the supervision of the Supreme Court and families of all agents who had committed suicide, be compensated.
Senior CPM leader Sujan Chakraborty said the Shyamal Sen Commission must look into the plight of all investors and not just those of the Saradha Group. “Simply because the Saradha Group had been in focus, the government cannot compensate a handful people and claim to have done a lot. There are a lot of other chit fund firms thriving in the state,” he said.
Meanwhile, Justice (retd) Bhagabati Prosad Banerjee criticised the commission set up to look into the matter. “It is farce. The commission under the Commission of Enquiry Act 1952 is only authorised to look into the matter and present its suggestions to the state government. Instead, the matter should have been handed over to the Enforcement Directorate.”
Justice Banerjee added he would lend free legal aid to victims. He, however, had a word of advice for investors and agents. “Do not file too many cases against the same company or person. It will only delay the process. All of you must come under the umbrella of one forum, and file one case.”
Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and Justice (retd) Ashok Ganguly were also invited, but could not attend the convention. They sent their views through letters which were read out at the event. Buddhadeb said the state was a failure in controlling the menace.