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Odisha Chit Fund Scam Victims Begin Indefinite Stir, Govt Says Refund To Small Depositors Already Begun


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19 February 2019

Debashish Maharana


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Bhubaneswar: The aggrieved and agitated victims of the multi-crore scam from across Odisha today resorted to an indefinite strike here under the umbrella of Arthika Sansthamanankadwara Kshatigrastanka Militamancha (ASKMM).

They are mainly demanding immediate refund of their duped money irrespective of small and big chit fund depositors of Odisha, identifying soon all the victims and amendment of the flaws in the existing laws. They have also resolved not to budge till their charter of demands are met and have a memorandum to be submitted to the Governor and the Chief Minister prompt redressal of their plights.

In his reactions, senior BJD leader and Odisha Finance Minister Sashi Bhusan Behera said, “I think the confidence of the chit fund depositors on the government hasn’t lost. Because, we have already started refunding money to the small investors as have been identified by the Commission.”

“The delay is due to extra caution being observed (by the State Government),” he clarified.

He also asserted, “The statement being made alleging that not a single duped victim has been paid off even a single pie is wrong.”

On the contrary, one duped victim named Janardan Pradhan in his reactions said, “I’ve deposited Rs 14 lakh. Five years have elapsed and despite the State Government’s assurance, I’m yet to get back my money. In the last election also we had been assured, but of no avail. If we don’t get back our money before the upcoming election, we won’t budge from the street and keep on protesting here.”

ASKMM advisor Jayanta Dash reacted, “The Government has been assuring us for the last six years for refunding our money, identifying all the duped depositors and amending the faulty law, but nothing has been done yet.”

He threatened, “Today the depositors have gathered here demanding fulfillment of our demands. If our demands are not met, we’ll squat on the street like this without any food. Our demands are that all the depositors, both the small and big, must be identified soon, the money must be refunded and the faulty law must be amended.”

Also another chit fund victim Laxmikant Mohanty stated, “Unless and until we get back our deposited money, we won’t go back home from Bhubaneswar.”

He rued, “I was working with Basil International Ltd. Our team had deposited over Rs 1 crore. Now the team members are being scolded and thrashed by the duped depositors. I have myself being duped Rs 10 lakh.”

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Sashi Bhusan Behera, Minister, Finance, Odisha

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Janardan Pradhan, Aggrieved Victim

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Jayanta Dash, Advisor, ASKMM

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Laxmikant Mohanty, Aggrieved Victim