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CBI quizzes another ex-Tripura minister in chit fund scam

Agartala, April 26: The CBI on Thursday questioned another former Left Front minister in Tripura and his two ex-private secretaries in connection with the Kolkata-based Rose Valley chit fund scam case.
Former Finance, PWD and Health Minister Badal Chowdhury was questioned by two Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officials at the MLA Hostel here for about two hours.
On Wednesday, the CBI questioned former Left Front Minister Bijita Nath on the issue.
“The CBI is collecting facts from different states as part of their probe into the Kolkata-based Rose Valley chit fund scam. So they also spoke to Nath and Chowdhury,” the former minister’s lawyer said on condition of anonymity.
After questioning, Chowdhury told the media: “The officials wanted to know some information from me for the period of 2004 and 2008. I replied accordingly.”
The CBI officials refused to talk to the media.
The two former ministers said they would cooperate with the CBI to probe the chit fund related cases as they wanted the accused to be punished and people to get back their deposits.
On Thursday, two former private secretaries of Badal Chowdhury — Sekhar Datta and Manik Lal Dey — were questioned at the CBI office here.
The CBI in June 2017 questioned Nath and Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) central committee member Gautam Das in connection with the Rose Valley chit fund scam.
CPI-M leader Bijan Dhar said: “No CPI-M leader and former Left Front ministers were involved with any chit fund organisations.”
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Congress and the Trinamool Congress (TMC) separately charged the previous Left Front government with promoting illegal chit fund organisations and unauthorised Non-Banking Financial Organisations (NBFCs) in Tripura.
The erstwhile Left Front government in Tripura had enacted a law in 2000 to deal with the illegal NBFCs and chit fund organisations and since 2016 began confiscating all movable and immovable properties of the Rose Valley chit fund organisation in the state.
The chit fund organisation — Rose Valley — is now under the scanner of the Enforcement Directorate and the CBI. Its sole proprietor and Chairman Gautam Kundu was arrested in Kolkata in 2015. (IANS)
 

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Ankur Kalita