Senior West Bengal journalist Suman Chattopadhyay has been arrested by the CBI in a chit-fund scam. Chattopadhyay is the third journalist who has been accused of a chit-fund scam, after the Trinamool Congress-fired MP, former editor of the daily newspaper ‘Affiliate Daily’, Kunal Ghosh and editor-in-chief Srinjoy Bose.
On Thursday, Chattopadhya was arrested for his involvement in the I-core group chit-fund scam. On Friday, the Chief Judicial Magistrate of Bhubaneswar Court sent Chattopadhyay to CBI custody for three days. The CBI has told the court that the I-core group is accused of gobbling huge profits to garner 3,000 crore rupees from the people, part of the fund was to be distributed through Chattopadhyay’s company.
This story exposes another case in which the name of such a person in the journalism world has been spoiled, who has taken Bengali journalism to a new dimension in the last decade. This incident shows the ugly face of journalism running on money which tries to invest money in journalism in a state through questionable sources.
The entire media fraternity, including his rival, seems to be avoiding talking openly on this issue, but it is sure that if the matter is investigated in depth, many more layers will come out in it. Sources connected with the case said that the information that is being obtained by the investigating agency can reveal the respected names of many big politicians and media.
This arrest is not yet an important news for the media of West Bengal. The major Bengali and English newspapers of the state have not yet covered it. Even the Bengali newspaper Anand Bazar Patrika, which has the highest circulation in the state, has published only a small report without naming Chattopadhyay.
I-core and cr
Sources say that the CBI is absolutely ready to file charges against Chattopadhyay, as he is also seen to be involved in the investigation of crores of rupees scam. Sources reveal that he had taken money from several chit fund forms on behalf of I-Core.
A police officer said on condition of anonymity, “Everyone knows about the editor’s collusion with the chit fund firm.” He got Rs 20 crore from the firm and other places besides I-core. ”
From a small reporter to a celebrity club
Chattopadhyay started his career as a trainee reporter in 1981 from a Bengali daily newspaper, Nowadays. In his 25-year stint with Anand Bazar Patrika, he staked a lot more than his face and name. He took Anand Bazar Patrika to new heights as executive editor. Chattopadhyay gave a new identity to Bengali journalism. He was also the founding editor of the Bengali news channel ‘ABP Ananda’ which started in 2004, which he left in 2005. This year he joined Kolkata TV as the founding editor and left it in 2006.
Subsequently, Chattopadhyay started his own Bengali newspaper ‘Ekadin’. Together, another publication direction was also laid. He needed the money to complete these projects and it is here that he took money from the chit fund firm.
In 2014, the CBI started answering questions on Chattopadhyay’s case of taking money from I-Core. At that time, the CBI came to know that a part of the company’s funds was sent to Disha Production and Media Private Limited and also some amount went to Chattopadhyay’s personal account. In the year 2017, his wife Kasturi was also questioned in the Saradha chit fund case.
A political investment
The Sharda Chit Fund scam surfaced in 2013. Just 2 years after Trinamool Congress came into government. Then political opponents of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee started accusing him that much of the publicity of the 2011 assembly elections was done with the money from the propaganda chit fund and capital scheme. In the capital scheme, in which low income communities are shown a lot of returns, they are invested in other projects with their small savings.
The companies that benefited from the chit fund rupees were Rose Valley, I-Core and Sharda. These firms allegedly transferred their funds to media houses. With this money, TV channels, newspapers and magazines were started. As a result, a large number of new publishing institutes started in Bengal, although most of these publications got locked up after the CBI’s action.
A former journalist explains, “Many prominent journalists have taken money among political parties. In which the names of Chattopadhyay and Kunal Ghosh came to the forefront, but what about others? General elections are near, so I wouldn’t be surprised if many other big names appear behind bars. ”
Incidentally, Ghosh, who has been released after serving a 3-year sentence, is the only person who spoke publicly on Chattopadhyay’s arrest.
Ghosh’s question is why is the media silent now? He said, “The government took action against me and the media cheered when I was arrested in a false case, to which I had no connection.” At that time, the entire media including Suman Da (referring to Chattopadhyay) gave me a lot of news about my arrest which had nothing to do with me. I was falsely accused, but why is the entire media silent today? ”
He went on to say, “Are my and everyday leaders
How was Mr. Srinjoy Bose treated? Is journalism so sick? ”
This arrest has raised alarm bells in the corridors of power as Chattopadhyay is considered close to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Political experts say that his arrest is a way to ‘sideline’ the TMC government in the state just before the general elections. He believes that the Center is trying to raise the issue of chit funds once again to put pressure on the TMC government. This arrest is a warning to those who played the role of a broker during the voting.
The incident has given the Opposition BJP an opportunity to attack the TMC once again, and the tensions between the ruling TMC and the BJP over the Rath Yatra just before the general elections are not hidden from anyone. This arrest can prove to be a strong weapon in the hands of BJP against Mamata Banerjee.