Arrested director of the tainted Saradha Group Debjani Mukherjee was not only framed by the chit fund company owner but also prevented from surrendering to West Bengal Police, her sister claimed Wednesday.
"(Saradha chief) Sudipta Sen has framed her. She wanted to surrender before the police, but she was prevented from doing so. My sister is innocent," Mukherjee's cousin Arpita, also an employee of the chit fund-funded group that has gone bust, claimed to the media here.
Sen and Mukherjee, along with another company official, were arrested Tuesday from Jammu and Kashmir for the multi-crore-rupee chit fund scam.
West Bengal Police were given a four-day transit remand Wednesday by a Kashmir court to take the three accused to Kolkata.
Claiming that Mukherjee, an executive director of the company, had tendered her resignation in January this year, Arpita asserted that her sister did not flee, rather she had gone to Delhi to attend an official meeting.
"I myself had dropped her at the (Kolkata) airport as she was to leave for Delhi for an official meeting," said Arpita, though she could not clarify as to how Mukherjee could attend an official meeting when she had tendered her resignation.
"May be, her resignation was not accepted," she said.
Arpita was detained by the police for interrogation Wednesday.
She described her sister as a mere puppet in the hands of Sen and claimed that all the financial transactions she made for the company were actually ordered by her boss.
"Is it possible for an ordinary employee to take big and important business transactions without the assent of her boss," claimed Arpita, who was posted at Siliguri as an employee of the company's education wing.
Arpita also could not explain Mukherjee's meteoric rise from a mere receptionist to an executive director of the company as well as her lavish lifestyle which included expensive cars and plush apartments.
"I don't know... may be, they were gifts from Sen," said Arpita.
Mukherjee, now in her late 20s, joined the group in 2007 and within three years became its executive director.
Senior journalist Seema Guha, who worked for the group's English daily Bengal Post, has underlined Debjani's importance in Sen's scheme of things while describing a meeting with him last year.
"Sen sat next to a well dressed woman in a sari, Debjani Mukherjee. Sen and she appeared like joint owners, sitting together on one side and facing visitors across. Debjani was an important person in Sen's set-up, symbolized by the fact that she sat on the same side of the huge desk," writes Guha.
"She was close to Sen and was his eyes and ears."