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From a receptionist,Debjani quickly reached ‘No. 2’ spot

Officially,she used to get a monthly salary of Rs 1 lakh in cheque and another Rs 1 lakh in cash apart from other perks and privileges.

Written by Madhuparna Das | Kolkata | Published: April 25, 2013 3:57:05 am

Police probing the collapse of chit fund company Saradha Group said the documents seized so far indicated that 27-year-old Debjani Mukherjee,the executive director of the group,was virtually the “Number 2” and involved in the decision-making process of the company. Officially,she used to get a monthly salary of Rs 1 lakh in cheque and another Rs 1 lakh in cash apart from other perks and privileges. But her cousin sister claimed that she was “just an employee who was trapped by her boss (CMD of the group,Sudipta Sen)”.

On Wednesday,as Debjani was enroute to Kolkata along with Sen on a transit remand from Jammu & Kashmir where they were arrested on Tuesday after being on run for nearly a week,her cousin sister,who identified herself as Arpita Mukherjee,said Debjani was “gifted” a flat in an upcoming south Kolkata neighbourhood and a couple of luxury cars by her “CMD boss”.

Speaking to mediapersons with her face covered in Kolkata,Arpita,who shared the flat with Debjani,said: “Sudipta Sen trapped my sister after she was called to Delhi for an important meeting on April 11. My sister did not go with Sudipta Sen in the Scorpio vehicle from Kolkata as the police claimed to the media.”

She said Debjani left for Delhi either on April 10 or 11 by an 11.30 am flight to join her “boss who had summoned her to Delhi for an important meeting”. However,according to the police version,Debjani accompanied Sen to Ranchi from Kolkata on a Scorpio.

Arpita,23,claimed that Debjani had not been paid her salary since January. “She wanted to resign,but Sen did not accept it,” Arpita said.

According to her,Debjani moved to the new flat at Kasba about a year and a half ago. Her ancestral house is also at Kasba. She said that Debjani joined the Saradha Group as a receptionist,and quickly rose to the rank of an executive director.

Asked about the flat,Aprita said,“It was a gift to my sister from her boss.” And how many cars was she gifted? Arpita said: “I am aware of only one,Maruti Swift.” However,The Indian Express found a white Scorpio — WB-22 U 6741 — parked outside the flat. It was registered in the name of Saradha Construction Company. The other Scorpio that was found in Sonamarg,J&K,had the next registration number — WB-22U 6742.

During her 30-minute interaction with the mediapersons,Arpita was joined by two lawyers — Anirban Guha Thakurta and Abhisekh Mukherjee — who claimed that Debjani was their client. They said Debjani had called Abhisekh from a Sonamarg hotel before being arrested. “She had called from the cellphone of a hotel attendant and wanted to know about the surrender procedure.”

“From the way she talked it seemed to us that she was under some sort of illegal confinement,” said Abhisekh. Asked why no complaint was lodged with the police,Arpita and the two lawyers said they were waiting for the green signal from her. “But probably she did not get the opportunity,” said Arpita.

At her ancestral house in Kasba,Mukherjee family is known as an aristocratic family. Mitra Mukherjee,the aunt of Debjani said,“She was a jovial girl from her childhood days. She was living with us in this house till she was promoted to the director’s post in the company. We noticed a change in Debjani and in her lifestyle. She started living lavishly and wearing costly jewellery. Her mother used to tell us that she holds a very senior position in the company and her boss loves her a lot.”

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