Ghosh asks Saradha promoter to disclose beneficiaries' name

Kolkata, Oct 3 (IANS) Apparently firing a fresh salvo at his party, suspended Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha member Kunal Ghosh Thursday demanded Saradha Scam mastermind Sudipto Sen disclose the names of nine people who benefitted from him and threatened to spill the beans if he did not.

Amid speculation that he may soon be arrested, the journalist-turned-politician was questioned for six hours by West Bengal Police for the fifth time over the last 12 days, in connection with the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam.

Emerging from the Bidhannagar police commissionerate, which is probing the scandal, after the marathon interrogation session, Ghosh claimed a letter purportedly written by Sen to the CBI where his name figured was actually a "conspiracy".

The 18-page letter that named Ghosh, another Trinamool MP Srinjoy Bose, and leaders from some other political parties was written by Sen April l6.

"I feel the letter that is being branded as Sen's letter to the CBI seems unnatural. It is the script of a conspiracy. There are lot of incongruencies. Police must unearth all the this," said Ghosh, who was suspended by the Trinamool Congress Sep 28 on disciplinary grounds.

Ghosh requested Sen to cooperate with police. "There are nine people who benefited from you and who had maintained contact with you. You must come out with the names. If you do not, if you have problems, I will have to make the names public".

In the morning, on his arrival at the commissionerate, Ghosh maintained he would cooperate with police to the best of his ability.

Asked whether he was apprehensive of being arrested, Ghosh said: "This entire matter is the responsibility of police. There is no scope for speculation and apprehension on my part, so on this I cannot say anything."

On the frequent interrogation -- five times since Sep 21, including twice when he was called from Delhi, Ghosh said it is only a "matter of coincidence".

He evaded a response to a question whether he thought the administration was behind his recurrent quizzing sessions by police.

Earlier this week, Somnath Dutta, a senior executive of the chit fund-aided Saradha media and close aide of Ghosh, was sent to police custody for seven days in the multi-crore scam.

Dutta was arrested from his Salt Lake residence Saturday, hours after Ghosh was placed under suspension by the Trinamool Congress. Ghosh had spoken out against the Trinamool leadership Sep 20.

Ghosh alleged that he was being made a scapegoat by those involved in the scandal, and demanded that the Central Bureau of Investigation probe the case.

Ghosh was summoned by police on the night of Sep 20 for interrogation.

Over the past few days, he has continued to attack the Trinamool, demanding the setting up of a intra-party probe commission and alleging that a leader of the party took Rs.4 crore from Saradha boss.

The Saradha scandal came to light in April when the company closed shop across Bengal, unable to pay back depositors, many of whom were from poorer sections of society and had parked their life's savings with the company, lured by the promise of huge returns.

As the company went bust, many agents and investors committed suicide, and protests took place across the state.

Sen was arrested, along with his close aides, from Jammu and Kashmir April 23.

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