Protests force police to act against chit fund director in Tripura

Agartala, April 28 (IANS) The chit fund scam in West Bengal had ripple effects in Tripura, where police swung into action on public complaints and protests to arrest the director of a Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC).

“Police arrested the director of ‘Self Trust’, an NBFC, Dipak Saha, last night (Saturday) after hundreds of agitated people across the state gathered in front of the company’s office at Ranir Bazar,” a police official told reporters Sunday.

The office of the chit fund is close to the state capital.

On Sunday, the accused was produced in a local court, which sent him to police custody for five days.

The police official said: “According to the preliminary probe, the company had collected at least Rs.3 crore from people in Tripura. Of the nine-member board of directors of the chit fund, four are from West Bengal. There are five directors resident in Tripura.”

Both tribal and non-tribal people complained to police that although their deposits matured last year, they were still to receive returns, despite persistent demands.

Meanwhile, ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist has asked its partymen to take strong steps against NBFCs, popularly known as chit fund companies.

“As the central government has not been opening sufficient number of bank branches in the rural and remote areas and has been reducing the interest rate on small savings, such type of chit funds are mushrooming in most places,” CPI-M state secretary Bijan Dhar said, while addressing a party meeting here Sunday.

“The wrong policies of the central government have caused the rapid increase of chit fund companies in India,” Dhar said, urging party cadres and supporters to take strong views against these illegal organisations.

Referring to the Bengal chit fund scam, Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar earlier demanded a common law in India to deal with illegal finance companies which dupe people after accepting deposits on the promise of high returns.

“Giving power to the state governments, there must be a common act for the entire country to curb the illegal activities of the NBFCs,” Sarkar earlier told reporters.

He said the Left Front government in Tripura has taken several measures, including enactment of a law to deal with such companies, to protect investors.

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