550 citizens who had invested in fixed deposit scheme barged into JM Road office on Saturday, seeking answers
There’s no respite in sight for beleaguered real estate baron D S Kulkarni. On Saturday, hundreds of investors barged into his office on Jangli Maharaj Road and demanded refunds of the money deposited under the DSK fixed deposit scheme. Kulkarni met them all personally and asked for time till August 15 to return their money. Sceptical investors warned him that the next step would be a police complaint, were he to break his word.
For many of the investors, a lifetime of savings has gone into the scheme and they are terrified that they will ultimately be left with nothing. Madhukar Matekar (80) has been investing in the fixed deposit scheme since 1983. “I invested almost Rs 15 lakh last time from my pension and other money that I had. I was hoping I would get the returns. But now, I don’t even know if I will even get the principal amount that I had invested. We were largely dependent on this money,” Matekar said.
Matekar was one of 550 depositors who visited the office on Saturday. After coming together on a WhatsApp group, they decided they needed answers. Kulkarni promised that the money would be returned by August 15 and also distributed a letter urging them not to file a police complaint. “If you file a police complaint, valuable time will be wasted in legal proceedings and hence I will not be able to return you money unless the court gives its judgment,” the letter stated.
Speaking to the investors, Kulkarni said, “I will be in a position to return the money partially by August 15. Please wait till this date. If I am not able to keep this promise, you will be free to take the next step.”
However, while the investor agreed to wait till the promised deadline, they also got police complaint documents and signed them. Vaishali Kulkarni, who was leading the campaign, said, “Time and again, we have been given different dates by Kulkarni. We are ready to wait till August 15, but after that, if we do not get the money, we will go ahead and file a police complaint. We have the documents ready and all investors signed the copy.”
Some of the depositors are also trying to bring investors into the DSK group in a bid to recover the money.
One of them, Sanjay Tipnis, said, “I have talked to a few people regarding the investment. We are waiting to see how it goes. There are pensioners who are suffering and we cannot let this continue.”