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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Rs 30 crore cash firm downs shutters - Panic grips investors in Kalimpong, fir filed

Rs 30 crore cash firm downs shutters-- Panic grips investors in Kalimpong, fir filed
Rajeev Ravidas and Vivek Chhetri, TT, Feb. 2: Panic gripped Kalimpong today when hundreds of people who had invested in a company that collected around Rs 30 crore in the past one year found its office shut for the third day and its top officials untraceable.
The panic was fuelled by an FIR filed by an investor, Firoz Ahmed, on Sunday.
Firoz had purchased “84 professional plans of Rs 9500 (each)” amounting to Rs 7.98 lakh from the company on October 27, 2010. He said in his FIR: “The company director issued two post-dated cheques for Rs 4 lakh each to me as security…I had encashed my first cheque for Rs 4 lakh after completing first month’s work on 4 December 2010. My second payment was deferred by the company by 25 days because of the recent strikes and on 29.01.11 I learnt all the top members of the company had absconded misappropriating a huge amount of public money and I had incurred a loss of Rs 3.98 lakh.”
Police said they were looking for Prakash Subba, a physically challenged man in his mid-twenties from the far-flung village of Pala, and four of his associates who have been named in the FIR.
Subba is the director of Web Info Solutions that promised incredible returns for doing, what it called, “SMS sending job”. The job entailed buying a business plan ranging from Rs 4,000 to Rs 30,000, and sending text messages to mobile numbers provided by the company.
“For a plan of Rs 4,000, we were required to send 2,500 messages. At least 500 messages a day was mandatory. We were then required to submit the completion report at the end of the first month, on the basis of which we were given Rs 2,500 each for the next four months,” said an investor.
For the highest plan of Rs 30,000, 20,000 messages had to be sent and the return promised was Rs 80,000 in four months.
Trilok Pradhan, the manager of the company’s Darjeeling branch, said the firm had no contract with any other company to send SMS. The texts had to be sent from the website,
“We had a database of mobile numbers and the investors were suppose to send a specified number of SMS to customers, asking them to invest in our firm,” said Pradhan.
One of the four sets of messages that an investor was required to sent read: “Work from home and earn Rs 2,500-20,000 per month. Send Co’s SMS from PC to mobile users. Call: 9232511456, 9233455479,” Both the numbers are currently switched off.
According to unofficial estimates, the company might have collected as much as Rs 50 crore in less than a year of its existence but the police said their guess on the basis of preliminary information was that the figure could be close to Rs 30 crore.
“It is difficult to come up with figures involved in the transaction immediately, but after speaking to investors, we estimate that anything between Rs 20 and 30 crore is involved,” said D.P. Singh, the superintendent of police, Darjeeling.
“An FIR has been lodged against Subba and four others at the Kalimpong police station. All those named in the FIR are untraceable,” Singh said.
The four others named in the FIR are Buddha Rai, the chairman of the company, its manager, Hemant Adhikary, and two other officials Bijay Pradhan and Manoj Rai. A police source said like Subba all others hail from the Lolay-Pala area, around 80km from here.
“The matter will be investigated by the district enforcement branch,” said the source.
The company office at Satdobato in Kalimpong has been sealed by the police. Apart from Darjeeling, the company had also opened branches in Siliguri and Jaigaon in the Dooars. The Siliguri and Jaigaon branches, too, have downed shutters. Only the company’s Darjeeling office has not closed shop as yet.
Asked why the Darjeeling office was still open, police chief Singh said: “We have to verify all the details and banking transactions before taking any specific action and coming to any conclusions.”
The Darjeeling branch manager of the company Pradhan and six of his staff are still attending office. “I spok to the chairman of the company Buddha Rai last Friday. He told me that the head office in Kalimpong was being closed down for 10 days and that they were trying to relocate to a new place,” said Pradhan. He claimed that the company officials told him that they were unable to generate the desired revenue because of various reasons. “However, I have not been able to contact the company officials since Sunday,” he added.
The branch manager said he had been told that the company was investing in land, real estate, a candle manufacturing unit at Lohapul and a tomato sauce production unit. “I am, however, not sure about the investments,” said Pradhan.
It is estimated that around 500-600 people from Darjeeling have invested between Rs 60 and 70 lakh in the last two months.
“At the moment we have around Rs 4-5 lakh in our office account. The investors have formed a committee in Darjeeling and they now want this amount to be invested and get their money back,” said the branch manager adding that they were trying to explore various investment possibilities.
In Kalimpong, too, hundreds of investors formed a five-member committee to articulate their case. “For the moment, we are registering the names of the victims and the amount they have invested. We estimate there are about 5,200 victims in Kalimpong,” said a member.
The investors gathered in huge numbers at the Kalimpong Town Hall today to register their names.
Many of them have invested in lakhs in the company, some of them by selling off assets like cars, bikes and jewellery. “I had put in around Rs 5 lakh after pooling in money from family and friends,” said one investor. He had invested in December last year and was expecting around Rs 3.5 lakh per month for four months starting January. “I have not received the first installment.”
SMS case-who are the masterminds?
Hemant Adhikari (Photo: Face Book)
KalimNews: The district and higher administration is keenly investigating Sms cheating cases in the Darjeeling hills. They are going to be arrested within a few days said a senior police officer. We have received enough informations and sealed everything, the source further added.
Kalimpong has suffered a lot in the financial cheating cases through different schemes in the past. Presently a few Sms agencies like Web Info solution a Sms sending agency is one of them. Besides them complaints is being receiving from other financial scheme agencies like Visarev of Unipay and others.
To earn money and develop one's financial status is everybody's dream. But to work hard and give one's full effort for the society and country is not everybody's dream. Everywhere there is problem of unemployment. For living a life for self gratification or with status not less than one's friend, neighbour or rival, people may opt any profession. But everybody prefers less work and more pay, less effort more gain to hard labour and minimum profit or wage.
Manoj Rai (Photo: Facebook)
Bijay Pradhan, (Photo: Facebook)
This scientific approach made the world civilised with developments in all fields. But there are demerits too. People became selfish and their motto turned, live and let die and it gave birth to crimes. Organisatons and agencies came forward with lucrative schemes with an objective -snatch from some one and get your requirements fulfilled in a civilised manner.
While just taking he example of Kalimpong, several organisation and thug agencies came and ran away with bundles of invested hard earned money of ignorant and innocent people.But people dont learn and didnot learn lesson. They have been cheated from generation to generation. And recently the present generation of youths too is cheated but with a different updated style.People invested on these agencies though they knew that it is not possible to get the promised amount within a short time by natural and honest way. They might have some doubts on the scheme that there is something fishy on it but they didnot mind, they just wanted the amount. From wherever and through whatever method is none of their business. It is greed that makes one blind to get more and more but through all immoral and unlawful ways.
Let us leave the greed to do more hardwork and be satisfied with what we have and oppose whoever invites with these types of catchy advertisements.       

Police is investigating on the complaint of about 5000 plus subscribers who had deposited money in Cyber Info Web Agency. The team leaders and the master minds are absconding. 

Talks very soon:Jaswant
KalimNews: Jaswant Singh, MP of Darjeeling Constituency met P Chidambaram , Home Minister and discussed the matter of Gorkhaland issue. After the meeting he said that Darjeeling issue will soon be resolved. He said that State government and GJM has agreed upon some common matters and I hope that very son talk with both of them will be held and a conclusive solution will be formulated.   
AAGSU demands autonomous Council

Kamal Pradhan, KalimNews, Guwahati, Feb 2: ‘All Assam Gorkha Students Union’ (AAGSU) one of the premier students’organization of Assam observed a sit in demonstration at Dispur Last Gate, the state capital of Assam demanding Gorkha autonomous council in the geographical territory of Assam and within the framework of Indian constitution on a satellite basis. Around 500 supporters joined the peace protest. The students organization also submitted a memorandum to opposition leaders of legislative assembly Shri Prafulla Kumar Mahanta and Shri Chandramohan Patowary who paid a visit at the sit- in demonstration.The students’ body also submitted a memorandum to Kamrup metro magistrate.
AAGSU has reminded the present Congress-BPF Government during the last budget session in progress, about creation of 'GORKHA AUTONOMOUS COUNCIL (GAC)' in the geographical territory of ASSAM within frame work of Indian Constitution a long standing genuine demand of Gorkhas of Assam since last 10 years.
AAGSU has also sought amicable solution to urgent and important state issues. The demands include- Flood problem of Assam be declared as ‘National Problem’ and take up marathon measures and get aid from Union minimize and control flood in Assam like other states.The second demand is inter border dispute of Assam like Langpih, Charaipung, Ruselbalpara etc. be resolved at the earliest shortest possible time and provide adequate security to border population of which majority of them are Gorkhas from threat perception of various anti social elements and outbreak of communal clashes.
It also includes arresting of sky rocketing of prices of essential commodities immediately.The memorandum demands UNESCO World Heritage site ‘Kaziranga National Park’ be protected from land grabrers, encroachers, poachers and ‘Majuli River Island’ be protected erosion and other natural calamities respectively
All important state issues like proposed peace talks with militant organizations of the state, free and fare upgradation of NRC, solution of border dispute and security to lives and property of common man etc. to be projected and addressed, the memorandum demands.
However the student leaders opined- “The Gorkha populace of Assam have suffered a lot and have always been deprived of minimum constitutional rights. Their language, culture, socio-political and economic rights have always been dismissed by politics of division and communalism.Untill and unless Gorkha Autonomous Council (GAC) for ethnic identity, security and prosperity of this community is formed within the frame work of Constitution of India, any steps of govt. to provide safety and security to this loyal and brave community will not be futile. AAGSU welcomes the creation of Gorkha development council (GDC) by the state govt.
However the AAGSU leaders reiterated that nothing less than autonomous council can solve the plight of Asaam Gorkhas. AAGSU has stressed that the formation of Gorkha Autonomous Council(GAC) should be as desired by the Gorkha populace of Assam.
Toy train cash for school

Mrinalni Sharma, TT, Siliguri, Feb. 2: Support groups of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Society and a tea garden in the area have pooled in funds to build a cemented structure for a government school in Rohini.
A little over 100 students study at the Madhyamik Shiksha Kendra, the first government school in Rohini that has a makeshift bamboo and tin structure.
The UK-based Darjeeling Railway Community Support (DRCS) group and the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) India Support Group will help to plaster the walls of the building that can hardly withstand the monsoon.
“We got to know about the plight of the children from the co-operative society in Tindharia. They had approached us for help. We contacted the DRCS and the authorities of Rohini tea garden. The three organisations have pooled in Rs 2 lakh to build a cemented structure,” said Vivek Vaid, a member of the DHR India Support Group.
The DRCS is a sub-group of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Society, a UK-based association of toy-train lovers supporting people living along the 88km tracks of the Unesco World Heritage Railway. The DHR India Support Group, is the Indian Chapter of the society.
The education department of the DGHC had set up the school in 2008 and Classes V and VI were started in a spare room of a primary school in Rohini, 35km from here. A year later, the institution was upgraded to Class VII and a local man allowed the authorities to use a room in his house for the classes.
Last year, another resident donated 25 cottah of land where a four-room bamboo structure with tarpaulin roof was built to teach students of Classes V to VIII.
“It was a great trouble to hold classes in the bamboo building during monsoons. Water seeped in from the roof and the walls and classes were suspended for several days. There was a respite when the garden provided us with tin for the roof but the seepage problem continued,” said Dipen Tamang, the in-charge of the school.
He said the state government has approved the posts for four teachers to teach the 115 students of the school.
“The DGHC officials have assured us that funds for infrastructure will be released this year. Funds are also likely to be sanctioned for building a kitchen for mid-day meal,” Tamang said. He added that alternative arrangements would be made for the students till work on the building is complete. “The work has started and it is expected to be completed by March.” he said.
The school is closed for the winter vacations and will re-open on February 16.

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