Amid suicide, more arrests, govt talks of issuing ordinance

AThe locked flat in Salt Lake allegedly in possesion of Sudipta Sen, the CMD of Saradha Group who is currently on the run. Partha Paul

WRECKED by monetary losses, one more investor of the chit fund company, Saradha Group that collapsed, committed suicide on Sunday. Fifty-year-old Urmila Pramanik, a housewife in Baruipur in South 24-Parganas, had deposited Rs 30,000 in the company. She consumed poison on Sunday and brought to Calcutta Medical College and Hospital where she was declared dead.

Another 35-year-old agent of the group, Lakshman Ghorui, tried to kill himself by consuming poison at Kalinagar near Diamond Harbour. He is fighting for his life in a hospital. He had collected around Rs 60 lakh from the investors. Realising that he would not be able to repay them amid a growing tide of anger against the agents, he took the extreme step.

Police, meanwhile, in Burdwan arrested three agents of chit fund companies, including two from Saradha Group following complaints by the investors. Madhab Das and Jayanta Chowdhury, the agents of the Saradha Group, were arrested from Heeragachhi area of Burdwan town. The third person to be arrested was Jayanta Das, manager of Espen Group, another chit fund company.

Amid growing protests by investors and agents of the company alike, the Trinamool Congress government said it would consult with the Centre about bringing in an ordinance to take over the property of Saradha Group.

"A lot of things are being said about the property (of Saradha Group). The state government after consulting the Union government can bring in an ordinance to take over the property of the group," said Trinamool general secretary Mukul Roy. "Whosoever is found guilty in this case would be booked and punished," he said.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, which is facing heat over the issue with opposition blaming it for the proliferation of chit fund companies after the Trinamool Congress came to power, will hold a meeting on Monday to discuss the next course of action on the issue. She had ordered the arrest of the Chairman and the Managing Director of Saradha Group, Sudipta Sen, who remains at large.

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