Assam ex-top cop, grilled in Saradha scam, commits suicide

NEW DELHI (TIP): Former Assam director general of police Shankar Baruah, who was interrogated by the CBI in connection with the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam, committed suicide on September 17. According to the police, Shankar Baruah shot himself with his revolver. A 1974 batch Indian Police Service officer, Shankar Baruah had returned from a four-day stay in a hospital, where he was undergoing treatment for depression.

A TV report says that the retired IPS officer could not handle the humiliation of the CBI interrogation. Probing the Saradha scam, the CBI Thursday raided 22 locations in West Bengal and Assam, including the residences of two former Assam ministers and a retired police chief and the offices of Kolkata businessman Sandhir Agarwal. The searches by the CBI took place at seven locations in Kolkata, 14 in Assam (12 in Guwahati and two in Dhubri) and one in Mumbai, including the residence of Assam’s former education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and former Assam director general of police (DGP) Shankar Baruah, an official said in New Delhi.

The CBI has till now registered 48 cases, including four in West Bengal and 44 in Odisha, in the alleged chit fund scam on the directions of the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court had handed over the Rs 10,000 crore Saradha chit fund scam case to the CBI in May 2014 and asked the state governments to provide all logistical help to the agency. The scam came to light after a large number of investors last year complained that many firms collected huge amounts of money from them promising high returns, but later refused to pay them back as promised.

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