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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Excel sheet shows Debjani clout: Cops

Excel sheet shows Debjani clout: Cops

Debjani Mukherjee

Calcutta, April 26: Debjani Mukherjee used to decide how much money Sudipta Sen's two families would get even though one of his sons was on the board of directors of the group, police learnt today.

Scanning Debjani's personal laptop, which was seized last Monday, the police have found an Excel sheet where she maintained records of monthly expenses under different heads, including those of Sen's two families.

"The sheet clearly shows the time and amount of money allotted to several persons every month. It was updated regularly. The names of Sen's two wives and his children feature on the list," an investigating officer said.

Sen was first married to Madhumita. The couple's eldest son Subhojit was one of the board members of the Saradha Group. The Saradha boss later married Piyali and has a son and a daughter with her.

The two families live in two houses in Salt Lake's HA and FD blocks. The police have learnt that while the house in HA block had been taken on rent, the one at FD block had been bought by Sen.

"Both ladies (Madhumita and Piyali) are not in Bengal now. We are trying to find out the details of the amounts they received by checking their bank accounts," an officer said.

"We suspect that both families used to get large amounts of cash regularly. We are probing if money was siphoned off from the company and given to the two families," the officer added.

The police have learnt that Debjani, the executive director of the Saradha Group and Sen's closest aide, used to call the shots in almost every aspect — from financial transactions to deciding what the lady employees would wear to office.

Several employees whom the police today interrogated corroborated the findings.

"Once Debjani had called me to a meeting at Saradha's Sector-V office at 1am. The meeting was held at Sen's chamber and she was seated alongside him," a senior lady employee working at the Diamond Harbour office of the group told The Telegraph.

Debjani, however, claimed during today's interrogation at New Town police station that she was an ordinary employee of the group.

The police could not interrogate her yesterday because she had complained of spondylosis and heat allergy.

Today, the police gave her the medicines she had asked for, allowed her to meet her cousin Arpita and her lawyers before she was interrogated for three hours over two sessions in the morning and the evening. The police made arrangements for two pedestal fans, a hand fan and bottles of cold water during the grilling.

"She claimed she had not received salary for several months and had not gone to office for the past one-and-a-half months. She said that since Sen's command over English was limited, she used to help him read and write official letters and documents. She also claimed that she had resigned from the executive director's post in 2011," an investigating officer said.

Sen was grilled four times today. He had been questioned for four hours last night, during which he apparently requested the police to be lenient with his family and Debjani.

"Sen denied having fled Calcutta. He told us that he had left the city only to get funds for his business and had plans of returning," another officer said.

The police said they were yet to cross-question Sen and Debjani. "We are allowing them to speak. Once they are done with their part of the story, we will see if their statements have loopholes," the officer said.

Manoj Kumar Nagel, one of the Saradha directors who was arrested six days ago, was remanded in seven days' police custody today.

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