Amid the fight of TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee against the CBI, the Saradha chit fund case victims will be hitting the streets of the national capital to protest against the West Bengal government.
The protest at Jantar Mantar will be held against the current West Bengal government for its interruption in the proceedings of the CBI investigations of the Saradha chit fund case, between 11 AM to 4 PM
The defrauded investors and agents of various chit fund companies on February 5 said they feel "betrayed" by the Mamata Banerjee government's move to stop CBI officers from interrogating the Kolkata Police commissioner and accused the TMC dispensation of trying to hide the truth behind the multi-crore scam.
Asim Chatterjee, convenor of the Chit Fund Sufferers Forum, told news agency PTI that the ongoing tussle between the state government and the Centre over CBI's attempt to question Kolkata Police chief Rajeev Kumar is not only condemnable but also an attempt to hide the truth.
Another Forum convenor, Jayanta Haldar, had said that the outfit would organise a rally of defrauded investors of the chit fund companies in the city.
"We will demand that all the culprits be arrested and the money be returned to the duped investors," he added.
"I was both an agent and an investor of a chit fund company. I was duped of about Rs. 30 lakh. Now when the CBI is trying to find the truth behind the scam the state government is trying to stop it," said Bisu, a defrauded investor.
"We feel betrayed," he said and wondered why was the state government so desperate to stop the questioning of the top police officer.
Another defrauded investor Ujjal said he had lost Rs. 25 lakh to both Saradha and Rose Valley chit fund companies.
"We invested in the chit fund companies after we saw the owners hobnobbing with top Trinamool Congress leaders and ministers. It made us trust these firms," he said.
"The state government did nothing else but shielded the culprits. Now when the CBI is trying to unravel the truth, why is the state government creating hurdles?" he asked.
The Saradha scam was a major financial fraud which lured lakhs of investors to deposit money in its schemes with glossy brochures and the promise of abnormally high returns. An official estimate says Saradha had mopped up about Rs. 1200 crore through its chit funds, but some calculations put that the figure is closer to Rs. 4000 crore. The company collapsed in April 2013.
(with PTI inputs)