Kolkata: Kunal Ghosh, the suspended Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha MP and one of the prime accused in the Sardha Group financial scam, allegedly tried to end his life by consuming sleeping pills inside the “high security” Presidency Correctional Home.
Ghosh had threatened in front of the magistrate on November 10 that he would commit suicide if the CBI, which is probing the case, fails to arrest the big fish involved in the scam. The ‘big fish’ are allegedly some TMC leaders who had taken favours from the Sardha group chairman Sudipto Sen.
“”The actual culprits are at large and I am rotting in prison. If the CBI does not arrest them in three days, I will commit suicide,” he had threatened.
According to sources, one of the guards noticed that Ghosh was gasping for breath in his cell around 3 am. He immediately informed the authorities and they rushed the VIP inmate to a government-run hospital.
Ghosh reportedly told jail officials that he had taken 58 pills. But to doctors, he reportedly said it was closer to 30 to 40 pills.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is, however, not convinced that Ghosh took an overdose; only one empty strip of sleeping pills had been found in his cell. “Perhaps he did not take as many pills as reported,” Banerjee told the state assembly, claiming that he had walked from his cell to the police car.
Images of Ghosh on a stretcher, being taken for a CT scan, however, appeared to suggest that his condition was a little more serious.
It is yet to be ascertained how Ghosh got access to the sleeping pills.
The West Bengal government has ordered a probe and the jail officials have been suspended.
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.
Ghosh has often suggested that the CBI should question his party chief Mamata Banerjee along with him.
The Left sees in the Ghosh sleeping pill affair a conspiracy. “If anything happens to Kunal Ghosh, the state government will be responsible,” said SK Mishra of the opposition CPI-M.
Some suicide notes, including one addressed to the Chief Justice of Supreme Court, were recovered from his cell. The CBI has been investigating the case on the directives of the apex court.