The Commission of Inquiry set up by the West Bengal government to probe irregularities in the chit fund schemes of the Saradha group and other such companies began work here on Friday.

The five-member panel headed by Justice (retired) Shyamal Sen will submit its report within six months.

 Urging depositors duped by the Saradha group’s “chit fund” company not to panic, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said steps would be taken to pay compensation to those recommended by the Commission.

 “Our intention is clear: we want to help the people. Some are trying to create panic for political reasons,” Ms. Banerjee said.

 “All will get justice, the inquiry will be impartial,” Justice Sen told journalists, adding anybody could lodge a complaint with the commission.

To a question on his association with the Saradha group as alleged recently by a senior CPI(M) leader, he said: “I attend welfare programmes [on invitation]; had gone to the ones organised by them [the Saradha group] also.”

 Governor M.K. Narayanan, when asked by journalists on the sidelines of an event whether there was need for a probe by the CBI, said: “There are several inquiries which are going on but the most important issue now is: can we give some money back to those who have lost it?”

 The Left Front and the Congress in the State had demanded a CBI probe into the chit fund scam, claiming that an impartial inquiry could not be expected from the Trinamool Congress government as the ruling party had ties with the company in question.

Meanwhile, Sudipta Sen, Chairman and Managing Director, Saradha group, and two of his associates, who were arrested earlier this week from Jammu and Kashmir, were interrogated in the presence of their lawyers at the New Town police station.

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