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Former Assam Top Cop, questioned over Saradha Scam, found dead

Former Assam Director General of Police Shankar Barua, who was recently questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam, was found dead at his Guwahati home in an apparent suicide.

The police say Mr Barua shot himself with his revolver. His 90-year-old mother was reportedly present in the house.

The retired police officer, who has two sons, had returned home today after a four-day hospital stay for a heart problem.

Mr Barua was interrogated by the CBI a fortnight ago.

Family sources said he “could not handle the humiliation of the CBI interrogation.”

His house was among over 20 locations that were raided in West Bengal and Assam. The homes of two former Assam ministers were also searched.
CBI officials reportedly took Mr Barua to a State Bank of India branch near his house and examined his bank accounts.

Mr Barua’s phone number was allegedly found in the phone call list of jailed Saradha chairman Sudipta Sen.

The CBI has till now registered 48 cases, including four in West Bengal and 44 in Odisha, in the alleged chit fund scam.

Earlier this month, the police arrested former West Bengal Director General of Police Rajat Majumdar.

The Saradha Group operated a Ponzi scheme offering massive returns of 40 per cent and more until it collapsed last year, leaving lakhs of small investors bankrupt in West Bengal and Odisha. The collapse triggered huge protests; three investors committed suicide.

The Supreme Court had in July ordered the CBI to probe “the involvement of higher-ups including politicians and aspects of money laundering.”

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