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Fraud victims slam govt’s ‘soft attitude’

Dec. 10: Hundreds of agents and employees of Jivan Suraksha, a non-banking financial company, today staged a protest at Khanapara alleging that investigating agencies were soft towards the company even after it duped crores of rupees from around 1.5 crore customers across the Northeast.

The protesters said in spite of registering cases with the CID and Bureau of Investigation of Economic Offences (BIEO), they had failed to arrest the top officials of the company, leaving the employees as well as depositors in the lurch.

The protesters, who converged at the Ganesh Mandir stadium, protested against the “soft attitude” of the state government. Peasant leader Akhil Gogoi joined them later in demanding action against the company with the demonstration creating a traffic jam on GS Road.

“The company collected crores of rupees from people through 416 branches spread across the region with the promise of high returns. As board members of the company have fled with the amount, the agents and other employees are facing flak from the duped customers. We had moved the CID and BIEO seeking action but the investigation agencies are not doing anything,” alleged Jayanta Hazarika, general secretary of Jivan Suraksha Employees Welfare Association.

The protesters submitted a memorandum to the state government through the Kamrup (metro) deputy commissioner demanding a CBI probe and return of the money collected.

They also demanded the state government should seize both movable and immovable properties belonging to the company, including a rubber plantation in Lumding, real estate project in Maligaon, a dairy firm in Lumding, a brick factory in Jagiroad, biomass power plant in Mirza, among others.

Last month, CID had arrested the managing director Uttam Acharjee from Calcutta, who is now out on bail.

Interestingly, the state finance department on November 22 had said the company had filed some forged documents in Gauhati High Court on behalf of the department and received bail for four of its top officials — Uttam Acharjee, Arju Acharjee, Chandan Das and Ashok Chakraborty.

The department has now decided to file a forgery case against Jivan Suraksha. “The company had filed some forged documents informing the court that the finance department had instructed the Jivan Surakha Associates Marketing Private Ltd to return the customers’ money within two months. So, the department has decided to lodge a forgery case,” an official statement had said. It said a case (2297/2012) had been already registered at Dispur police station under Sections 406, 420 and 34 IPC.

The Assembly session, which began today, also saw the issue of bogus non-banking financial companies being raised by AGP MLA Keshab Mahanta. He particularly mentioned Jivan Suraksha and demanded stringent action against them.

Mahanta said the promoters should be arrested and the money collected should be recovered and returned to the depositors.