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Congress demands CBI probe into chit fund groups in Tripura
Congress demands CBI probe into chit fund groups in Tripura

Agartala, March 28 (TIWN / IANS) The Congress on Saturday demanded a CBI probe into the activities of all illegal non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) and chit fund organisations in Tripura.

The Congress alleged that the ruling CPI-M (Communist Party of India-Marxist) leaders and members were involved in the activities of chit fund groups, an accusation which was strongly refuted by the Left party.

The party made the demand after its leaders met Tripura Governor P.B. Acharya on Saturday. 

"We have urged the governor to request the central government to depute the CBI to inquire into all aspects of the activities of illegal NBFCs and chit fund organisations in Tripura," opposition leader Sudip Roy Barman told reporters.

He said: "The Central Bureau of Investigation has so far taken up very few cases filed against the chit fund organisations. We want the CBI to probe all aspects of their activities and involvement of high profile persons."

"Chief Minister Manik Sarkar and several CPI-M leaders had on a number of occasions attended the functions of chit fund organisations," he added.

On Friday, the Congress released a booklet showing government documents and photographs about the activities of the unauthorised NBFCs and chit fund groups.

The party has also announced that it would soon meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi to request him to direct the CBI to probe the fraudulent activities of chit fund companies in Tripura.

"If the central government did not accept our demand, we would organise sit-in demonstrations in New Delhi," Barman said.

"The Tripura government is not taking effective steps against illegal chit fund companies and NBFCs which have been collecting crores of rupees from the market," the Congress leader said.

Refuting the Congress' allegations, CPI-M state secretary Bijan Dhar said Tripura's Left Front government was the first in India to enact laws to curb the unlawful activities of the chit fund companies and NBFCs and repeatedly asked the CBI to investigate their activities.

"The Congress has no issue and they are playing an old record just to misguide the people," Dhar, also a CPI-M central committee member, told reporters.

The Tripura High Court last week asked the state government to set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the activities of illegal NBFCs and chit fund organisations.

In 2013, the Tripura government referred 37 cases relating to chit fund companies and NBFCs to the CBI. The central probe agency, however, has taken up only five cases.

Unauthorised chit fund companies and NBFCs have mushroomed in the northeastern region in recent years.

They lure depositors by promising exceptionally hefty rates of interest ranging from 25 percent to 30 percent. After collecting the money, they quietly end their operations and vanish.

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