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Massive protests against Saradha Group in Guwahati

April 25, 2013 18:56 IST

Even as the crackdown on Saradha Group involved in the chit fund scam continues, Krishak Mukti Sangram Samity, a leading NGO in Assam, on Thursday staged a mass demonstration in front of the deputy commissioner’s office in Guwahati. The demonstrators demanded that people who invested in the company get back their money along with interest.

KMSS leader and RTI activist Akhil Gogoi who led the demonstration alleged that a section of politicians, bureaucrats and police officials had helped Saradha Group to set up business in the state.

He demanded the resignation of the state’s Education and Health Minister Dr Himanta Bishwa Sarma whose name was mentioned by Saradha Group chairman Sen in his letter to the CBI mentioning that the minister had cheated him of not less than Rs 3 crore. 

However, Gogoi was not very vocal of some of the other persons, including a senior Congress leader, a TV channel owner and a senior Congress legislator from Assam, who, too, had some dealing with Sen as per his disclosure made to the CBI.

Sarma has, however, denied the allegation. He said he had met Sen only once, about 18 to 19 months back, when the latter invited him to attend the launch of Saradha Group’s English Daily. The minister said he had declined to attend the function.

Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has said that even if there was any involvement of anyone from the state action can’t be taken on the basis of mere allegations.

Gogoi on Wednesday said his government was seriously contemplating demanding CBI investigation into the operations of some non-banking financial companies including major groups for swindling public money.

Two hundred and twenty-two cases have been registered so far against 128 companies which include Sarada Group, Rose Valley, Unipay 2 U, Jeevan Suraksha, Prayag, Abyss Assam Group Company, Basil International Ltd., Alliance Vision Marketing Pvt Ltd 
and Daffodils Group of Companies. 

Chargesheets have been filed in seventeen cases against 42 persons and 15 companies. About 303 persons have been arrested so far. Nearly Rs 94 lakh in cash has been seized and Rs 24 crore frozen. One hundred and six bank accounts have been frozen and a number of plots, totalling more than 99 bighas including buildings have been identified and necessary steps are being taken up for their attachment. 

K Anurag in Guwahati