Thousands of chit fund sufferers walk through Kolkata streets

Kolkata : Demanding arrest of illegal chit fund owners and refund of money collected by them from ordinary people, thousands of victims of such schemes, including those run by the Saradha Group, from across West Bengal Thursday took out a huge protest rally through the streets of Kolkata.

The rally, organised by the Chit Fund Sufferers Association, saw agents and investors duped by these companies participate in large numbers without political banners.

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However, senior leaders of the Communist Party of India-Marxist and other Left Front partners, Congress and some more left parties walked hand in hand with the sufferers decrying the “collusion” of West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress and its leaders with the proprietors of the companies.

The march, which began from College Square, concluded at Rani Rashmoni Road – about seven kms away.

CPI-M state secretariat member Shyamal Chakraborty demanded Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s resignation and criticised her for asking her party’s women wing members to hold a sit in demonstration outside the office of the Central Bureau of Investigation.

“West Bengal tops in the number of crimes against women. But one never saw the Mahila Trinamool Congress members protest against incidents like rapes. Today they are holding the demonstration to protect thieves.”

Chakraborty, who is state president of the CPI-M labour arm CITU, said another big rally will be organised Sep 15 to express solidarity with the chit fund sufferers.

Former state Congress president Pradip Bhattacharya said the state was now in turmoil over the scam. “Lot of people in the Trinamool are under the CBI scanner.Many more arrests will be made. People are angry. The sufferers must get back their money.”

Another CPI-M leader Sujan Chakraborty demanded punishment of all ministers who are involved in the scam, in which over 17 lakh people have lost their savings.