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Saradha scam: Mukul Roy quizzed by CBI, wants truth revealed

Kolkata, Jan 30 (IANS) Trinamool Congress general secretary Mukul Roy, considered West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s right hand man, Friday was grilled by the CBI for over four hours in the multi-crore rupee Saradha ponzi scam.

Coming out of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) office at CGO complex in Salt Lake in the afternoon, Roy said he wanted the truth to come out and the investigation to move in the right direction.

“I met the investigators today. They have questioned me for a long time. I have told them that if they need me for the sake of the probe, I will meet them and cooperate not once, but every time when they call me,” the former railway minister told media persons.

“Let the truth be revealed. Let the investigation move in the right direction,” he said.

“Not once, if the need be, they can call me repeatedly and I will cooperate. I feel the truth should be revealed. The poor people who have lost their money, they want that justice is not denied,” said Roy iterating that he was prepared to join the probe and cooperate with the CBI from the outset.

A CBI source later said that Roy might be summoned again for questioning.

Roy, Trinamool’s key organiser, yet again asserted of “not doing anything unethical”.

Summoned Jan 12 by the CBI, which is probing the scandal on the orders of the Supreme Court, Roy had twice obtained deferrals for his appearance.

He had been frequenting Delhi and talking to lawyers as his party as well as the Banerjee government moved the apex court seeking that the probe be monitored by the Supreme Court, alleging that the CBI was acting as an “instrument” of the BJP-led central government and targeting Trinamool leaders.

A large number of Trinamool loyalists shouted anti CBI slogans both at Roy’s city residence and outside the CGO complex.

While the Trinamool had given a call for hitting the streets following Transport Minister Madan Mitra’s arrest by the CBI, Roy said he was not in favour of anything that might inconvenience the public.

“The legal and the political fights will continue, but I am not in favour of anything that might inconvenience the common man,” said Roy whose party workers had earlier staged demonstrations outside the CBI office.

While four Trinamool leaders including Mitra are behind bars, the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) have grilled a number of party parliamentarians and legislators.

Trinamool’s suspended Rajya Sabha member Kunal Ghosh, now under arrest for his alleged role in the scam, has claimed Roy’s complicity in the scam. Asif Khan, a one-time close associate of Roy and now under arrest in connection with a cheating case, has also accused Roy of wrongdoing.

Roy, credited as the architect of the Trinamool victory in all recent elections and a major player in extending the party base as also in organising defections from other parties, has been under fire for his alleged meetings and telephonic conversations with Saradha Group chief Sudipta Sen.

But Roy and the Trinamool have vehemently denied all the charges.

Meanwhile, in another development, the CBI told a city court that Mitra has not been cooperating during his interrogation in the jail.

The court Jan 16 had allowed the CBI to interrogate Mitra inside the Alipore jail between Jan 17 and Jan 24.

Opposing Mitra’s bail plea, CBI counsel Partha Sarathi Dutta said that the minister did not properly cooperate during his interrogation.

“His answers were not satisfactory,” said the counsel urging the court to extend his jail custody by 14 days.

Mitra, whose judicial custody expired Friday, could not appear before the court due to illness as Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Haradhan Mukherjee extended his custody till Feb 12.

Sudipta Sen and several of his cronies are now behind bars for the scandal which came to light in April 2013. The company downed shutters across Bengal after being unable to pay back the depositors — mainly poor people who, lured by the promise of huge returns, parked their life’s savings with the firm.

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