Kunal Ghosh arrested in Sardha scam, urges police to take Mamata`s help

Police arrested suspended Trinamool Congress leader Kunal Ghosh on Saturday in connection with the Saradha chit fund scam case.

By Sushmita Dutta | Updated: Nov 24, 2013, 00:37 AM IST

Zee Media Bureau

Kolkata: Police arrested suspended Trinamool Congress leader Kunal Ghosh on Saturday in connection with the multi-crore Saradha Group ponzy scam.

The development came just few minutes after Left Front chairman Biman Bose demanded a CBI probe into the chit fund scam and claimed that several names other than that of its chairman Sudipta Sen had cropped up in connection with it.

Meanwhile, Kunal Ghosh urged police to take help of 12 people including West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in the Saradha scam probe.

In a post on Facebook, Ghosh called himself a victim of a "deep conspiracy" and said he has been "wrongfully" arrested.

"I am a media employee. I was not involved in any chit fund,` said Ghosh, hours after his arrest in connection with the Saradha chit fund scam - the biggest financial scandal to hit the state.

Ghosh said he was cooperating with the investigation, and made himself to police whenever he was summoned. "But police will not take my help. The case is being set up to protect several people."

He also claimed that those involved in the letter purportedly written by Saradha group chief and alleged scam mastermind Sudipta Sen to the Central Bureau of Investigation in April were behind the conspiracy in cooking up the case against him.

In the letter to CBI, Sen had named Ghosh as also another Trinamool MP and some Congress leaders alongside others and urged the federal agency to treat the missive as an FIR.

"Help should be sought in the probe from those who knew Sen, and received direct or indirent help of the Saradha Group, or know things in some other way," he said, and gave 12 names including state Sports Minister Madan Mitra, besides Banerjee.

The other names included those of some MPs and newspaper owners, and Trinamool national general secretary Mukul Roy.

Mitra said law would take its course. "I am a minister. A probe is on. If I say anything, the probe may be affected. So I won`t make any comment."

However, he rubbished the reference to Banerjee in Ghosh`s post. "Banerjee is one of the best social activists in the world."

Asked whether he was prepared to face any probe, Mitra said: "500 percent".

Ghosh said those he has named were also "respected" and "eminent". "I am not making any allegations. I am only talking of seeking help."

Earlier, Trinamool Congress on September 28, 2013 had suspended Rajya Sabha MP Kunal Ghosh from the party on disciplinary grounds.

Ghosh, the former head of Saradha`s media arm, was also grilled by the investigating officers regarding the case.

However, he had then refused to divulge any information.

Somnath Dutta, a senior executive of Saradha media and a close Ghosh aide, was also remanded in police custody for seven days in connection with the scam.

The Saradha scam came to light in April 2013, as the company had no other option but to close its business in the state after failing to pay back depositors who had invested with it, lured by the promise of huge returns.

Saradha Chairman Sudipta Sen was also arrested, along with his close aides from Sonmarg in Jammu and Kashmir in the month of April.

Ghosh had earlier threatened to "reveal many things" if he were to be arrested in the Saradha chit fund case.

Apprehending arrest in the Saradha scam, Kunal Ghosh had yesterday held a press conference at his residence and said that he would reveal the names of party leaders to the police and accused a section of the party leadership of making him a scapegoat.

Ghosh had claimed he would give the names of several Trinamool Congress leaders to the police and the media.

The Rajya Sabha MP was interrogated by the Bidhannagar Police on ten occasions before today, apart from being interrogated by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO).

The state government had set up a one-man commission of Justice (retd) Shyamal Sen to probe the scam and a corpus of Rs 500 crore was set up by the Mamata Banerjee government to pay back the investors.

The government paid back the principal amount to several hundreds of small investors, who deposited Rs 10,000 or less.

The commission has received a whopping 1.8 million complaints.

Kunal Ghosh, who was once known to have a close rapport with Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee, was leading a tirade against the party in respect of the scam after his name cropped up.

He has been insisting on a CBI probe to unravel the alleged role of other party leaders.

The party suspended Ghosh for anti-party activities in September after he made unsavoury remarks against it while sharing dais with dissident party MP Somen Mitra and suspended MLA Shikha Mitra.

With agency inputs