Saradha boss, aides sent to 14 days’ police custody

Kolkata, April 25 (IANS) Amid protests by opposition activists, chit fund-funded Saradha Group chairman and managing director Sudipta Sen and his two aides were Thursday brought before a court here which sent them to 14 days’ police custody.

Sen, group executive director Debjani Mukherjee and another senior company official Arvind Singh Chauhan were presented at the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate’s court at Bidhannagar in North 24 Parganas district under tight security, with Rapid Action Force Personnel deployed in large numbers.

The prosecution asked for a 14 days’ remand which was granted by magistrate A.H.M. Rahman.

“Police said they need him in custody as lot of things were involved, lot of recoveries have to be made. The learned judge granted the prayer,” said a counsel for Sen.

Earlier, a number of activists of the Indian Youth Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party carrying party flags and placards shouted slogans against Sen outside the court premises.

The activists demanded exemplary punishment for Sen and accused the state’s Mamata Banerjee government of being hand in glove with the Saradha Group. They also sought steps against some Trinamool Congress MPs alleging that their names figured in the scandal.

As the three accused were being taken to the prison van after the court proceedings, protestors broke a barricade and tried to come close to the accused. Police swung into action and carried out a baton charge before putting the three accused in the van.

Later, the Youth Congress alleged that one of their activists was injured.

The group, one of the largest chit fund companies in eastern India, went bust and its offices last week downed shutters, unable to repay lakhs of depositors who had parked their hard-earned money lured by astronomically high interest rates promised by the company.

Since then, widespread protests by agents and investors rocked different parts of the state threatening law and order.

Angry protesters have attacked the offices of Saradha Group in different parts of Bengal, and blocked rail tracks and national highways.

The accused were earlier brought to the city Wednesday night via Delhi on a four-day transit remand given by a Jammu and Kashmir court.

The three were detained Tuesday by Jammu and Kashmir Police in Sonamarg tourist resort in Ganderbal district after receiving information from Bengal investigators. They were later arrested after their identity was established.

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