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Saradha scam: Aparna Sen, Bengal minister quizzed

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Kolkata, Aug 18 :

The Enforcement Directorate Monday grilled famed film actor-director Aparna Sen and a West Bengal minister in connection with the multi-crore-rupee Saradha chit fund scam.

Questioned by the ED, Sen said she has given all the information that was sought from her.
Saradha Group
Sen, who worked as the editor of “Parama” – a magazine brought out by the Saradha Group – said she was happy to cooperate with the investigating agency.

“I was called by the ED to help with the probe. They wanted to speak to me as I had worked for Saradha for sometime. I’ve given them all the information they sought and told them I’m happy to co-operate anytime they call me,” Sen told media persons after the questioning.

State Textile Minister Shyamapada Mukherjee was quizzed by the agency about a business deal he made with Saradha Group head and purported scam kingpin Sudipta Sen.

The first state minister to be questioned in the scam, Mukherjee faced posers regarding the transaction of a plot of land and a cement factory which he sold to the group in 2009.

Talking to the media, Mukherjee rejected allegations that he sold the unit at an inflated price and that Sudipta Sen, now behind bars, was politically coerced to make the onerous deal.

“How can somebody be coerced into a business deal? There is no dispute. I came as I got instructions from ED,” he said.

The minister said neither he nor Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee were embarrassed over the ED summoning him.

“Why should I be embarrassed… my leader and chief minister has not given me any message (that she is embarrassed).”

Mukherjee said he handed over to the ED officers the papers they sought. “The discussions were limited to these papers, nothing else.”

The minister conceded that the ED sleuths also quizzed him regarding Sudipta Sen and Saradha.

“They asked me certain things about Sudipta sen. Regarding that I told them I am not in the know. About Saradha also I am not in the know, because in 2009 we had not heard about Saradha. Nor did we know much about Sudipta Sen.”

Besides the ED, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) too is probing the purported Rs.10,000 crore scam that ruined lakhs of depositors across Bengal, Assam and Odisha.

Apart from Sudipta Sen, a host of company employees including suspended Trinamool MP Kunal Ghosh who headed the group’s media arm, are behind bars.

(IANS)

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