Saradha agent kills self

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By BIJOY KR SHARMA
  • Published 2.06.13
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Dhubri, June 1: The Saradha scam has claimed yet another life with Rahim Ali, a 40-year-old agent of the company’s Dhubri office, hanging himself at his Kalabagan, Baperipatty house in Gauripur in the wee hours today.

Sources in Gauripur said mounting pressure from depositors seeking refunds had forced Ali to take the extreme step.

“Ali remained almost confined to his house and went underground fearing physical assault by depositors after the Dhubri branch of Saradha Reality India closed on April 5,” a source said.

Gauripur police station officer-in-charge Tarun Das said Ali’s body was handed over to his family members after autopsy today.

“An investigation into the death will be initiated after we get the autopsy report. We cannot say much about Ali except that he was a Saradha agent,” he said.

A source close to Saradha agents here said Ali had collected around Rs 50 lakh for fixed and recurring deposit schemes over the last three years.

The source said the Dhubri headquarters had 11 branches with 1,000 agents, who had been working with the company since it started operations in the district.

Saradha also owned a biscuit factory, Bhasank Food Pvt Ltd, on Mission Road here.

“The company had collected around Rs 150 crore through various deposit schemes but stopped maturity payments from November 2012,” the source said.

The depositors are distraught.

Subhasish Chanda, a Mission Road-based depositor who had two recurring deposits of Rs 400 and Rs 1,000, has lost all hope of getting his hard-earned money back.

“I heard an agent committed suicide in Gauripur today. These deposit collecting companies, including Saradha, has already made paupers out of lakhs of people,” Chanda, an employee in a shop here, said.

In another development, Dwipesh Choudhury, a Saradha agent here, was sent to judicial custody yesterday.

Dhubri police station office-in-charge Manik Kalita said, “He was taken into police custody twice — first for five days and then for three days — for interrogation regarding the two cases registered with us. He was arrested on May 24 from his residence in College Nagar here.”

Kalita added that the Saradha office here was sealed in April after its closure.

Police had also sealed the Bilasipara office of the company on May 21.