TMC supporters agitate in Tripura to seek CBI probe in chit fund scam
Agartala, Feb 23 (IANS) Four policemen were injured as opposition Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Thursday organised a civil disobedience movement here to demand a probe by the CBI and ED into the activities of illegal NBFCs and chit fund organisations in Left-ruled Tripura.
Over 6,000 TMC workers led by top party leaders, including West Bengal’s Minister of State for Panchayat and Public Health Shyamal Santra and MLA (Salboni) Srikanto Mahato, participated in the agitation.
A large number of security forces, led by Deputy Inspector General of Police Uttam Majumder and West Tripura district police chief Abhijit Saptarshi, were deployed to deal with the agitation.
“Four policemen were injured in the scuffle with the agitators,” Saptarshi told IANS.
TMC’s Tripura unit President Ashish Saha said over 14 lakh depositors were cheated by various Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) and chit fund organisations, including Rose Valley.
“Without the probe by CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) and ED (Enforcement Directorate) the actual irregularities and wrongdoing would not be unearthed,” Saha told reporters at the agitation spot near Raj Bhavan.
The opposition party held the civil disobedience movement in support of their 11 demands, including withdrawal of demonetisation of high-value notes, restoration of tribal sub-plan schemes by the Centre, an end to crime against women in Tripura and government jobs to unemployed youths in a transparent way.
TMC legislator Sudip Roy Barman alleged that Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, his ministers and leaders of the ruling Left Front in Tripura are responsible for flourishing activities of these organisations.
“Sarkar promoted the business of Rose Valley; his party colleagues, including two ministers, are either involved or promoted the business of NBFCs and chit fund organisations,” Barman told reporters here.
He said: “The CBI and the ED are taking action against TMC parliamentarians and leaders in West Bengal but both the agencies are not acting in Tripura.”
He claimed a tacit understanding between the CPI-M (Communist Party of India-Marxist) and the Bharatiya Janata Party-led central government.
He said they will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ask for CBI and ED probes.
Denying the TMC charges, CPI-M state Secretary Bijan Dhar said Tripura was the first state to enact laws to curb unlawful activities of chit fund companies and NBFCs and had repeatedly asked the CBI to investigate.
“The TMC leaders have no issue. They are playing an old record just to misguide the people,” Dhar told reporters.
The Communist Party of India-Marxist is a dominant partner in the Left Front that comprises four parties.
The Tripura High Court last year asked the state government to set up a Special Investigation Team to probe illegal NBFCs and chit fund organisations.
Meanwhile, SIT head and Tripura’s Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) K.V. Sreejesh told the media that the SIT is now probing 78 cases involving 48 NBFCs and chit fund organisations and had arrested 112 persons.
“We have seized bank accounts and attached properties of most of these organisations. We will soon complete our probe,” the officer added.
In 2013, the Tripura government referred 37 cases relating to chit fund companies and NBFCs to the CBI. The central probe agency, however, took up only five cases.