The Saradha group’s chit fund scam has claimed three more lives, police sources said on Monday.
The first suicide occurred on April 19, the day agents and employees of the group staged a demonstration outside the residence of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in the city. Since then, at least eight more deaths, including an alleged murder, have been reported from different parts of the State.
Jagdish Roy — the father of Bidhan Roy, who ran a ponzi scheme company and owed more than Rs. one crore to depositors — was found hanging at his house in North 24 Parganas district’s Sodepur late on Sunday evening.
His family members alleged that angry investors had ransacked his house a few days back and assaulted him.
At Chinsurah in Hooghly district, angry investors had been hounding Jayanta Sarkar, who ran a similar firm, for days. His family told the police that he had been killed by people who had visited him on Sunday.
Meanwhile Sanjay Sarkar, who used to work as an agent for such a company in Balurghat in Dakshin Dinajpur district, also killed himself.
Call for CBI probe
Meanwhile, Magsaysay award winning author and social activist Mahasweta Devi joined the chorus of demands that investigations into the operations of such firms be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
“This issue must be dealt with. If the CBI can solve it, then so be it,” Ms. Devi said.
“This entire matter is a disaster. The government should do as much as it can. We definitely do not want these chit funds to proliferate. We never wanted them and yet they have sprung up,” she added.
A day after the former Chief Minister, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, reiterated the need for a CBI probe into the scam, Trinamool Congress secretary general Partha Chatterjee ridiculed the demand.
Mr. Chatterjee said the demand had been made by someone who was against the CBI taking over investigations into the “Netai and Nandigram genocides” and had remained silent at a time when the people were demanding justice.
He also raised doubts about the “impartiality” of the CBI, given the recent developments in the Coalgate scam.