The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Scam cloud on CPM men

Purulia, April 30: Discrepancies in maintenance of accounts and funds diversion to the tune of Rs 15 lakh have been detected at one of the units run by the Purulia Central Cooperative Bank. The district administration has ordered an inquiry amid allegations that senior CPM functionaries might be responsible.

Based on information gathered by the bank’s field officers, chief executive officer Bibek Sen inspected the accounts of the Bisri Samabayee Krishi Unnayan Samiti, a cooperative society in Manbazar I block.

In his report dated April 23, Sen said the once-defunct society, revived in 1990, “does not follow any rational norm of financial transaction and book-keeping”. As a result, “no cash-in-hand could be derived or verified”. Books and records were “far from up-to-date”. Sen added that “ample evidence of funds diversion was found during the inspection”. He ascertained that in three years since 2000-01, the society diverted an amount of Rs 14,95,759, which could have gone towards loan repayments.

“There is discrepancy in the lending figures as well”, where an “unexplained difference of Rs 1,05,650 has cropped up” between the loans taken from the Purulia Cooperative Bank and the loans disbursed to the society’s members. The CEO also detected that the society’s deposit mobilisation was in an “equally alarming state”.

An amount of Rs 5.3 lakh is shown as cash in hand. But the manager of the society “could not place the money for physical verification”.

When society manager Mohan Sen and secretary Tunu Bose were asked about these discrepancies, they admitted that the accounts were in a mess.

On further questioning, Bose is reported to have said that two senior persons associated with the district committee of the CPM were involved. One was the cooperative bank chairman S.N. Mullick and the other, CPM district secretary Nakul Mahato. This, however, is not mentioned in the CEO’s report.

When contacted, both denied their involvement. “I was the one who revived the society in 1990. How could I be responsible for the anomalies that have been detected,” said Mullick.

Former MLA Mahato dismissed the allegation. “All this is a scheme by the Opposition parties, especially the Trinamul Congress, to create a scam before the panchayat elections,” he said.

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