Brahmagiri investors demand ED intervention, to take out protest march on Nov 21

Protesters clash with the police outside a processing unit of Malabar Meat under the Brahmagiri Development Society at Manjadi in Sulthan Bathery, Wayand. File photo: Special arrangement

Wayanad: Investors of the CPM-controlled Brahmagiri Development Society (BDS) will demand an intervention by the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) into the financial irregularities in the functioning of BDS which has left the quasi-governmental agency in a deep monetary crisis.

Addressing a press conference on Thursday, Brahmagiri Victims’ Action Council office bearers Abhilash Mathew, M R Mangalan, C A Jose, N Remesh, Ancy Roy and P C Babu said if the state government was to continue with its lethargy over ensuring justice for the investors, the council would be forced to approach the ED demanding a proper investigation into the financial transactions of BDS as huge sums of money mobilised from the public have been missing. Demanding urgent intervention from the state government, the victims of the alleged scam will take out a protest march to the headquarters of BDS on Tuesday morning.

“This is only the first phase of our agitation. If the protest march does not yield any results, we will shift the protests to the Collectorate and then the Secretariat,” said members of the council.

The society was founded by the late CPM leader Varghese Vaidyar and among the 21-member director board, five were top government officials. Among the political members, apart from the vice chairman, all others were CPM leaders.

The former chairman of BDS was none other than P Krishna Prasad, national leader of All India Kisan Sabha, they pointed out. CPM state committee member O R Kelu MLA is also one of the directors, the action council leaders said. Moreover, there is a budgetary allocation for the BDS every year, they added.

The leaders also said it was the CPM-led house campaign that mobilised funds for the BDS. “The former chairman and leaders of various party-affiliated organisations pressurised retired employees, farmers and traders with left leanings to invest in BDS projects, offering up to 12 per cent interest,” the office bearers said.

The flow of interest to the accounts of investors has stopped since July 2022 and there was no response from the society when asked about returning the principal amount. Though there was an assurance to settle all arrears within two weeks in a discussion held a few months ago at Pathiripplam, none of the investors have received any amount so far. “The situation is worse now as those at the helm of affairs do not attend our calls,” the leaders lamented.

After the closure of Malabar Meat, the flagship project of BDS, all outlets across the northern districts have either shut down or already given way to products of other private players.

It is to be recalled that CPM state secretary M V Govindan, who had met news reporters in June at Kalpetta, promised all measures to settle the debt of depositors as soon as possible.

Moreover, the Union Bank of India is moving forward with the procedure to attach the paternal property of P Krishna Prasad, former chairman of BDS, who pledged it as security for availing a loan for the Kerala Chicken project when government funding became delayed.

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