Saradha boss charged with abetment to suicide

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THE first case of abetment to suicide in the Saradha Group chit fund scam has been filed against the jailed CMD of the company, Sudipta Sen. The case has been lodged in Baruipur in South 24-Parganas on Wednesday by the son of a deceased depositor.

This is the first time that Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which entails maximum imprisonment of 10 years, has been slapped against the CMD.

Since their arrest in Kashmir last month, charges of cheating, fraud, misappropriation of funds and conspiracy have been filed against Sudipta and two of his directors — Debjani Mukherjee and Arvind Chauhan, both currently in jail.

Urmila Pramanik, who used to work as a domestic help, had invested Rs 30,000 in the chit fund company that went bust. She committed suicide by setting herself on fire last month in Baruipur.

Her son Bhola Pramanik filed a complaint with the police naming Sudipta and two senior officials of the company — Regional Manager Arindam Das and another official Satyajit Basu — for duping his mother and driving her to commit suicide.

Both Das and Basu are absconding, while Sudipta is in the custody of South 24-Parganas police.

Since the company went bust in April, hundreds of cases have been lodged against Saradha Group chief and his officials for non-payment of salaries of the staff and non-payment of returns to investors.

The company's collapse led to a spate of suicides in the state. Urmila was one of the first to commit suicide. On Wednesday, a Saradha Group employee was found hanging at his home in Balurghat.

At least 16 people — agents, depositors as well as company officials — have died in connection with the chit fund scam in the state.

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