Saradha scam accused Kunal Ghosh attempts 'suicide', hospitalised

Kolkata: Suspended Trinamool Congress MP and Saradha scam accused Kunal Ghosh today allegedly tried to commit suicide by taking sleeping pills inside the Alipore Central Jail, West Bengal Correctional Home Services Minister H A Swafi said.

Ghosh has been admitted to a state-run hospital. "Kunal Ghosh claimed that he has taken sleeping pills to commit suicide. He later on called the doctor and they found everything to be normal but still as a precautionary measure we did not take any chance and got him admitted to the SSKM Hospital," the minister told PTI here.

Doctors there have kept Ghosh, an accused in the Saradha scam, under observation. On November 10 when he was produced before a city court, Ghosh had threatened to commit suicide if the CBI did not take proper action against "those involved" within three days.

"Investigation is being influenced. It is not acceptable that I will rot in jail while those involved will roam freely. I am giving three days' time, if action is not taken I will commit suicide," the suspended Trinamool Congress MP had told Metropolitan Magistrate Arvind Mishra at Bankshall Court here.

"I pray to you to pass an order that during these three days, none of my relatives or my lawyer be allowed to meet me or else I may get influenced and dissuaded," Ghosh, who had during earlier court hearings accused some top Trinamool Congress leaders of having benefited from the scam, told the judge on that day. Ghosh, a journalist by profession, is a former CEO of Saradha Group firm Bengal Media Ltd.

A top jail department official said, "As he had threatened (to commit suicide), we had kept extra watch on him for the past two days.

Before going to sleep we searched him thoroughly. But no sedative or sleeping pill of that sort was found in his possession. "But at around 2:30 AM he started complaining of breathlessness and claimed he had taken pills following which jail doctors called on him, examined him thoroughly but did not find anything abnormal.

Still we did not take any chance," the official told PTI.

Presidency Jail authorities today filed an FIR in a city police station against Saradha scam accused Kunal Ghosh for allegedly attempting to commit suicide.

The FIR has been filed at Hastings Police Station against Ghosh by the authorities of the Presidency Correctional Home,
where he was lodged and had allegedly attempted to commit suicide in the early hours today, police sources said. Attempt to commit suicide under section 309 of IPC invites simple imprisonment of one year or fine if proved.

Ghosh's counsel Soumyajit Raha, who visited SSKM Hospital, said neither he nor his client's family members were allowed to meet the suspended Trinamool Congress MP. Raha claimed that they were also not given any official
update on the condition of Ghosh, who allegedly took sleeping pills in the early hours today and was admitted to the
critical care unit of state-run SSKM Hospital.

"We are completely unaware of his status. We desired to meet him but were not allowed. Hospital authorities said that
as a medical board is going into the matter, nothing can be told," he said. "Everyone is in anxiety and we will wait if any information is provided and tomorrow we will review the situation and decide on whether we will move the court in this regard," Raha said.

Ghosh had threatened to commit suicide if the CBI did not take proper action against "those involved" within three days
in front of a magistrate when he was produced before a city court on November 10.Raha, who was representing Ghosh in court, said he had told the magistrate that his client was both physically and mentally stressed and that he needed treatment.

"We, however, do not know what precautionary steps the jail authorities had taken in view of his comments in the
court," Raha said.

Even as West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday suspended jail officials and on-duty hospital staff in the wake of the reported suicide attempt by suspended Trinamool Congress MP Kunal Ghosh, Presidency Jail authorities filed an FIR against the Saradha scam accused for his alleged suicide attempt.

Ghosh's condition is now stable. He was hospitalised Friday after he complained of feeling unwell, police said.

Ghosh Nov 10 threatened to commit suicide if others involved in the swindle were not arrested within three days.

Banerjee Friday said in the state assembly the superintendent of Presidency Jail, attending doctor, nurse and on-duty staff of the hospital have been suspended.

Police said Ghosh claimed "before jail authorities that he had consumed sleeping pills".

"We are waiting for jail authorities to confirm if it is an attempt to suicide, after which we will proceed accordingly," Deputy Commissioner of South Division Murlidhar Sharma told IANS.

The Trinamool MP was shifted to SSKM Hospital around 3 a.m.

"Kunal Ghosh's condition is stable now. He is responding to treatment and speaking. His stomach was cleared on arrival (at hospital) and he was given a liquid diet also," said Sumanjit Roy, Deputy Commissioner, Detective Department.

"The circumstances under which he said he was unwell are still under inquiry and whether there was any attempted suicide or not is yet to be ascertained," said Sharma.

Ghosh, who headed Saradha media arm before being arrested in November last year, has been alleging the involvement of several leaders of the ruling Trinamool Congress, including its top brass.

He also urged the court to disallow anyone from meeting him in the jail, lest he be "dissuaded or influenced".

Asserting that he was framed, Ghosh alleged the investigation was been influenced and demanded to know what action has been taken against those who started the ponzi schemes.

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