Congress demands ouster of chit fund panel head

Cuttack: The Cuttack City Congress has demanded ouster of retired judge of Orissa High Court Justice MM Das, who is heading the Inquiry Commission on chit fund scam in the State. Yesterday, Das had stirred up a hornet’s nest saying that people became victims of Ponzi firms due to their greed and the State government can do little in this regard.

The Congress party, which had criticized the statement of Das terming it ‘irresponsible’, held a demonstration here today. Nearly a hundred investors holding placards staged a sit-in in front of the Commission’s office demanding removal of Das from his post.

“How can a retired judge, who is heading a Commission of Inquiry, give such a statement? Is he for the poor investors or the ruling government?” asked Krupasindhu Baral, an investor from Nayagarh.

Another investor raised questions about the neutrality of the Commission.

“After hearing his remark on the chit fund scam, we are now forced to think that we may not get our money back,” said another investor.

Addressing the rally, Cuttack city Congress President Mohammed Mukim threatened to hit the streets on the matter if the State government doesn’t intervene.

“The poor investors are completely disheartened after hearing such a statement from Justice Das. Now they fear that they may not get their money back. The government must intervene in the matter or else we will hit streets on the issue in the coming days,” Mukim warned.

Attending a function of the BJD Legal Front on the birth anniversary of Madhusudhan Das here yesterday, the chief guest on the occasion Justice Das said people invested money in various chit fund companies out of greed, which can be considered an ‘unnatural calamity’.

“What can the government do in this regard? It can only compensate the duped depositors to some extent. It is not justified to return money to the depositors with interest,” Das said in the meeting, which was attended by Law Minister Arun Sahu, Cuttack-Barabati MLA Debasis Samantaray and Convener of BJD Legal Front advocate Milan Kanungo.