Police question Kunal Ghosh for fifth time

Kolkata, Oct 3 (IANS) Amid speculation that he may be arrested soon, Rajya Sabha member Kunal Ghosh was Thursday questioned by West Bengal Police for the fifth time over the last 12 days, in connection with the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam.

Ghosh was suspended by the Trinamool Congress Sep 28, on disciplinary grounds.

The journalist-turned MP arrived at the Bidhannagar police commissionerate, which is probing the scandal, at 11 a.m..

"I have been saying from the beginning that I will cooperate to the best of my abilities with the police, and present myself whenever they summon me. They asked me to come today so I am here to answer questions of the investigator," Ghosh said on arrival at the Salt Lake office of the commissionerate.

Asked whether he was apprehensive of being arrested, Ghosh said, "This entire matter is the responsibility of the 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.

Ghosh was questioned Wednesday for over four hours in connection with the scam.

Ghosh, who earlier headed Saradha's media arm, drove straight to the Bidhannagar police commissionerate after landing in the city from Delhi Wednesday afternoon.

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 for the multi-crore-rupee scam.

Dutta was arrested from his Salt Lake residence Saturday, hours after Ghosh was placed under suspension by the Trinamool Congress.

Mitra said the interrogation smacked of "administrative vengeance", since Ghosh had spoken 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, alleging that a leader of the party took Rs.4 crore from Saradha boss Sudipto Sen.

Asked about Ghosh's questioning by police, Mitra said: "As I have said earlier, if he is being interrogated for airing his views, then that smacks of administrative vengeance."

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.

Saradha promoter Sudipta Sen was arrested, along with his close aides, from Sonmarg in Jammu and Kashmir April 23.

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