Karnataka govt plans to constitute SIT to probe scams in city-based cooperative banks: Shivakumar


PTI, Apr 24, 2024, 7:25 PM IST

Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar on Wednesday said the state government is planning to constitute a special investigation team (SIT) to probe alleged scams in city-based cooperative banks, and claimed the involvement of BJP leaders in them.

The state Congress chief was referring to alleged financial frauds involving Sri Guru Raghavendra Sahakara Bank, its sister concern Sri Guru Sarvabhauma Souharda Credit Cooperative Ltd and Sri Vasista Credit Souharda Sahakari Ltd, which come under the Bangalore South Lok Sabha constituency limits.

Shivakumar said a group of depositors met Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Wednesday here before she left to Kerala for campaigning, and submitted her a petition seeking justice.

“There are three lakh depositors who have suffered. Some 300 of them have since died, and many of them are senior citizens…When the BJP was in power, they promised to hand it (probe) over to the CBI. But our government (on coming to power) gave it to the CBI….But since BJP leaders are involved and they have indulged in the fraud, the CBI has neither registered a case nor has started inquiry,” he told reporters.

“Priyanka Gandhi has asked Chief Minister (Siddaramaiah) and me (Shivakumar) to consider constituting an SIT and take action in accordance with law.

Immediately after the election, we will decide on this and ensure justice,” he said.

“Your hard earned savings have been taken by BJP leaders. It shouldn’t have happened,” Shivakumar said, urging depositors to stay strong and assuring that the government will try to protect their interest.

Siddaramaiah had in December last year approved handing over the probe into alleged scams at the three cooperative banks to CBI.

According to reports, irregularities at the Guru Raghavendra Bank is to the tune of Rs 1,294 crore, while the Guru Sarvabhauma Society reportedly lost Rs 284 crore due to financial misappropriation, and fraud at the Vasishta Cooperative Bank is said to be tune of Rs 282 crore.

Recently, Bangalore South BJP MP and candidate for Lok Sabha polls, Tejasvi Surya abruptly left an election campaign meeting in his constituency, after depositors at Sri Guru Raghavendra bank allegedly heckled him over the delay in getting back their money. However, Surya’s office later blamed those allegedly associated with the Congress party for the incident.

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