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Saradha chit fund: Different voices in govt over Saradha-terror link probe


New Delhi (Dec. 2014): Government today appeared to speak in different voices with a minister telling Parliament that probe has so far not revealed that Saradha chit fund money was used to finance terror in Bangladesh, contradicting BJP Chief Amit Shah's allegation of such a connection.

"The investigation has so far not revealed any such transaction where money was routed to Bangladesh to fund terrorist activities," Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh told the Lok Sabha in a written response.

Addressing a rally in Kolkata on Sunday, Shah had alleged that Saradha chit fund money was used in the October 2 Burdwan blast, which is being probed for link with Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) terror outfit.

"Saradha chit fund money was used in the Burdwan blast. The NIA is not being allowed to probe the blast properly. Hurdles are being created. It is being done in order to save TMC leaders who are involved in the blast," Shah had alleged, attacking the Trinamool Congress.

As the Opposition, especially Trinamool Congress (TMC) attacked Shah, Union Minister Babul Supriyo, elected on BJP ticket from West Bengal, expressed surprise over Jitendra Singh's statement and alleged that ruling TMC and its MPs had links with terror plot in Bangladesh.

"I came to know about Jitendra Singh's statement a little while back. There is a different reason. There were a lot of responsible minds who acted very fast to ensure that the state government has evidence, proofs and it has been recorded in front of several TV cameras.

"The state government was instrumental in destroying evidence that could prove state government's, TMC's or their MPs' connection with the terror plot that is not only West Bengal centric but also finds its way into Bangladesh and neighbouring countries.

"So it was very smart of the central government to get NIA into the act. NIA is right now doing a very comprehensive research into the entire act. I got to know what Jitendra Singh said a while ago. I need to find out why he said so," Supriyo told reporters outside Parliament.

Jitendra Singh was asked whether the government has sought details of the probe into the Saradha chit fund scam after reports indicated that a part of the money was routed to Bangladesh to fund terror activities. Singh replied that government has not sought details of the probe.
However, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu refused to wade into the controversy saying "you ask the minister and the party president".

Congress leader Veerappa Moily attacked the BJP President saying he should understand the sensitivity of the issue as it deals with a close neighbour.

"He should not forget he is admitting that Indian money is being used to finance terror activities. It is a very damaging statement. Either he is irresponsible or he is making political statements to malign some political parties in West Bengal," he said.

Demanding an apology from Shah to the country and people of West Bengal, Moily said his government denies that there has been any resource sharing taking place.

TMC leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay said, "Amit Shah is basically an uninformed person. He has no knowledge of the subject nor any idea of what he has to say in a public meeting".

He said Shah should accept what the government has said in Parliament as everyday they make wild allegations against TMC chief Mamata Banerjee.

However, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury found the minister's statement "strange and contradictory" to what Shah had claimed in the public meeting that there is a link that has been established and that is why the National Investigation Agency is there.

"Now for the Minister of State to give a statement in the house clearly indicates that there is some deal between TMC and BJP because BJP requires TMC's support to get out of Rajya Sabha stalemate," he said.