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Manoranjana Singh arrested, Tapas Paul interrogated

KOLKATA(FT): Stepping up its investigation, CBI today arrested Manoranjana Singh, ex-wife of former Congress minister Matang Singh and interrogated TMC MP Tapas Paul for several hours in connection with Rose Valley and Saradha chit fund scam. Matang Singh was arrested months ago for his alleged involvement into the scam by CBI.

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In last few months, the central agency was criticized by the political parties for no’visible activity’ into the Saradha investigation. CPM termed the ‘lull’ period in the investigation as the result of ‘Modi-Mamata’ bonhomie.

Significantly, Paul used to hold a post of one of the directors in Rose Valley group. Manoranjana Singh was the managing director of NE Tv that was involved in a financial transaction with Saradha group. Saradha CMD Sudipta Sen in his ‘tell-all’ letter to CBI mentioned Manoranjana’s name and claimed that she has siphoned a huge amount of money while settling a deal between Saradha and her company ‘Positive Group’.

Interestingly, Singh took Sen to Nalini Chidambaram’s chamber in Chennai for ‘settling’ the deal, stated Sen in his letter. CBI in September, 2014 examined Nalini Chidambaram, wife of former finance minister P Chidambaram. In the letter Sen further added, Nalini ‘requested’ him to support Manoranjana Singh to set up a TV channel in Guwahati’.

Calling CBI’s action as a ‘prelude’ to the ‘long harassment the central agency would be starting before the assembly election’, a senior TMC leader said, “People now realized why the chit fund scam was brought to the fore. Narendra Modi government want to harass our leader. They have been rejected by the people. And now they have no alternative left. So, they are conspiring against TMC using CBI and ED. We know that they will step up their activities before the assembly election,” added the TMC leader pleading anonymity.

In March, CBI conducted raid at the residences and offices of Tapas Paul. Paul’s residences were among 43 locations, the CBI raided in connection with the Rose valley Scam. Apart from CBI, the Enforcement directorate is investigating into the scam. The agency claimed that Rose Valley collected around 15000 crore from market.

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