The Karnataka government has handed over to a Special Investigation Team the case relating to alleged "fraud" by an investment firm here affecting thousands of investors, the chief minister's office said Tuesday.
Hundreds of investors had thronged the 'I Monetary Advisory jewels' store here Monday worried about their money, after an audio clip surfaced with a person alleged to be its founder and managing director Mohammed Mansoor Khan heard saying he is going to commit suicide as he was fed up with corruption.
According to reports, police have received thousands of complaints against IMA jewels and Khan, whose whereabouts are still not known, from investors who are mainly vendors, small businessmen and from middle and lower middle class.
"Considering the seriousness of the #IMAJewels fraud, the inquiry has been handed over to a special investigation team and instructions on this have been given to theDGP," the Chief Minister of Karnataka's office tweeted.
Kumaraswamy earlier held discussions with State Home minister M B Patil and issued instructions to dispose the case at the earliest, and ensure action against the guilty.
Earlier in the day, a delegation of Muslim leaders of the Congress, including minorities welfare minister Zameer Ahmed Khan, met the chief minister and Home minister and urged them to hand over the case to the SIT.
"Met and gave submission to Honorable Chief Minister of Karnataka Shri @hd_kumaraswamy regarding taking stern action against IMA Jewels on behalf of victims...," Khan tweeted.
Speaking to reporters after meeting Patil, Khan said, "There are many poor people who had invested for marriage, education, to construct house among other things...we have asked for SIT investigation."
Seeking confiscation of the owner's properties and wealth, he said, "action should be taken against whoever is involved or behind this and however powerful they are...if SIT can't, let them give it to CBI then."
State BJP chief B S Yeddyurappa too demanded that the owner be found immediately and necessary action taken so that people who had invested get back their money.
Meanwhile, the case also led to a twitter war between the BJP and Kumaraswamy as the saffron party tweeted a picture ofhim along with Mohammed Mansoor Khan.
"& when "I eat, you too eat" is a way of life in @JanataDal_S, frauds like Mohammed Mansoor Khan tend to eat, loot & scoot. Btw @hd_kumaraswamy's biryani day with frauds speaks a lot about acceptance. Must be tough acknowledging it. Isn't it," Karnataka BJP tweeted with the picture.
Reacting to this, Kumaraswamy in a tweet said, "It's sad @BJP4Karnataka stoops low again to misguide anddemean by using an old picture out of context.This has always been the BJP troll strategy.
#IMAfraud is a serious issue andthe culprits will be punished.
Responding, BJP said, "Good to know you have known this fraud for a long time. Should help you catch him soon. Your job is to catch the fraudster & not cry victim on twitter. Get your priorities right."
In the audio that has caused panic among investors, the person, allegedly Khan, is heardaddressing police that he was committing suicide as he was fed up with corruption in the state and central government.
He is also heard accusing central and state officialsof harassing him, compelling him to take the extreme step.
He also asks police to sell all his wealth and jewellery to payinvestors and is heard accusing a politician of taking Rs 400 crore from him and not returning it.
Meanwhile, another audio clip, purportedly of Khan, has surfaced in which he can be heard claiming to be in the city itself and promising to pay back all the investors.
"I'm in Bangalore itself. There is a conspiracy to drive me away by big big people..I will pay back people from whom I have taken money...
I have all the money I have got from people into diamonds, properties and jewelleries...by 15 (June) I will make the payments clear to every one. First small, then medium and thereafter big (investors)..," he said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)