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Transistor and lawyer convey news in jail

Calcutta, May 9: A crackling transistor in a small jail cell today conveyed to Kunal Ghosh the news that the Supreme Court had handed the Saradha probe to the CBI, a demand he had been making for a long time.

Ghosh, a Trinamul Rajya Sabha MP, knew that the Supreme Court would give its verdict today and had gone to his neighbouring cell in Dum Dum central jail, where former Maoist state secretary Sudip Chongdar alias Kanchan is lodged, around 11am.

It was on Chongdar’s transistor that Ghosh, who has been suspended from Trinamul, came to know about the verdict.

“Kanchan is allowed a transistor set in his cell. Kunal had gone to Kanchan’s cell and was glued to the transistor, eagerly awaiting news on the Supreme Court verdict. On hearing the news, he was elated,” a jail source said.

Ghosh was arrested on November 23 on the charge of non-payment of salary and other statutory dues to a section of employees of the media outfit of the Saradha Group. He used to head Saradha’s media wing.

Ghosh fell foul of his party when he demanded a CBI probe into the Saradha scam at a blood donation camp on Amherst Street last September and said he would not be made a “scapegoat”.

Since his arrest, Ghosh has been tagged in a number of cases related to Saradha. Earlier, he had on several occasions expressed his willingness to give a statement before a magistrate, but has not been given the opportunity to do so.

Sources said that an hour after the verdict was announced, jailer Biplab Das and welfare officer Prasun Mukherjee met Ghosh in his cell.

“He did not speak much. He just said he was the first to demand a CBI probe. He said those who were involved in the scam would face the heat,” a source said.

The jail sources said a psychiatrist had accompanied Das and Mukherjee but Ghosh refused to meet him.

Saradha chief Sudipta Sen, who is lodged in Alipore central jail, got to know about the verdict from his lawyer only in the afternoon. “Told that the case would now be probed by the CBI, he did not show much emotion. He kept on repeating that he was worried about the safety of his wife and children,” another member of Sen’s legal team said.

Sudipta’s wife Piyali and son Subhojit were arrested by the Enforcement Directorate. Piyali is out on bail, while Subhojit is in judicial custody.