Congress demands SIT probe in chit fund scam

Bhubaneswar: With a non-banking financial institution (NBFI) chief claiming to have bribed political leaders including a Odisha minister, opposition Congress on Wednesday demanded a thorough probe by a special investigation team in the alleged irregularities.
"I demand a thorough probe by a SIT under the supervision of a retired High Court judge to find out the acts of omissions and commissions that led to defrauding of so many poor depositors by chit fund companies," former Odisha PCC president Niranjan Patnaik said.
A SIT probe is necessary in the wake of the suspected role of some influential BJD leaders and an allegation by one of the accused in an interview to media about the involvement of ministers and ruling party MLAs in swindling money, he said.
"Since police negligence has facilitated the fraud, they should not be allowed to whitewash their part of the liability by conducting raids now," the Congress leader said in his letter to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
Powerful people had provided protection to these chit fund companies and the people have a right to know the identity of these big fish, he added.
Pradip Sethi, the chief of NBFI Arta Tatwa, had recently claimed that he had bribed politicians to operate illegal money circulation activities in the state.
Meanwhile, investors of another chit fund company Seashore Group staged a demonstration in front of the company's headquarter here.
"Let the government seize all properties of Seashore Group chief and return money to investors," former BJD MLA Bikram Berma, who led the protesters, said.