KOLKATA: Leader of Opposition in the West Bengal Assembly Abdul Mannan was arrested Monday along with 59 Congress activists for staging a protest against "delay in action" in chit fund scam cases at Metro Channel here, where Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had recently held a sit-in over CBI's attempt to grill Kolkata Police chief.
They were later produced before Chief Metropolitan Magistrate in-charge, Judge Keya Sarkar, who granted them bail on a personal bond of Rs 300 each.
A senior police officer said the Congress workers were initially persuaded to stop the demonstration, as they did not have permission to hold the protest at Metro Channel.
When the agitators did not relent, the police had to use force to disperse the crowd, he said, adding that several Congress activists, including Mannan and Youth Congress leader Rohan Mitra, were arrested.
The Youth Congress Monday convened a sit-in demonstration at Metro Channel area, in the heart of Kolkata, seeking immediate arrest of those involved in chit fund scams.
They demanded that efforts should be made to return money to the defrauded investors.
Carrying placards and posters against the TMC, whose leaders have been accused of involvement in the scams, and the CBI, which is investigating into the ponzi scheme cases, the Congress workers sought answers for delay in the arrest of culprits.
"Lakhs of people lost their lifelong savings in the chit fund scams. We all know that the TMC leaders are involved in the scam. But due to a political understanding between the TMC and the BJP, the CBI investigation has not moved ahead," Mannan said while addressing the demonstration.
Slamming the chief minister over her dharna, the senior Congress leader said Banerjee stopped the central probe agency from questioning the Kolkata Police chief as she wanted to shield him.
The chief minister, however, never bothered to enquire about the defrauded investors who lost their savings, he said.
Banerjee sat on "Save Constitution" dharna from February 3 to 5 to protest against the CBI's attempt to question Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar in connection with Saradha and Rose Valley chit fund scam cases.
She accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP national president Amit Shah of organizing a "coup" in the state and alleged that National Security Adviser Ajit Doval had directed the CBI to harass political opponents.
Following Supreme Court's order in the matter, the Kolkata Police chief was questioned by the CBI in Shillong for the third day Monday in connection with the scams.