Fraud cuffs on Bloc leader

Suri: Police arrested a Forward Bloc state secretariat member and former administrator of Birbhum District Central Cooperative Bank Rebati Charan Bhattacharya on Wednesday on charges of issuing loans to the tune of Rs 66 lakh to a person in 2004 without valid documents.

The police said the loan had remained unpaid and it had now accumulated to Rs 1.54 crore with interest.

The bank was closed for 16 months since May 2014 after the Reserve Bank of India cancelled its licence for unpaid loans and mismanagement.

Bank sources said people who had taken loan to the tune of Rs 12 crore during Bhattacharya's tenure could not be traced.

Bhattacharya was produced in a Suri court and remanded in two days of police custody.

Bhattacharya was the sole administrator of the bank for three years from 2004 when he allegedly sanctioned many loans without proper documents to several people, which led to a crisis at the institution.

The Bloc leadership alleged that the veteran leader was being subjected to political vendetta.#

He had been on the board of administrators of the bank since 1986 and was the deputy chief of Birbhum zilla parishad for five years since 2003. The bank authority lodged an FIR in April against Bhattacharya and Azizul Haque, the owner of a bidi factory who had taken a loan of Rs 66.84 lakh in 2004. The police are looking for Haque also.

The branch manager of Nalhati branch of the BDCCB, who finally sanctioned the loan, Madhusudan Dutta, committed suicide in 2013.

Mohammed Rahidul Islam, the son of Azizul Haque, told The Telegraph: "We borrowed only Rs 5 lakh but the bank claimed we had borrowed Rs 66.84 lakh. We will take legal help."


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