Calcutta, July 16: Visva-Bharati suffered another jolt today when its former registrar Dilip Mukherjee was arrested in the forged marksheet case, becoming the second registrar to meet the fate.
Mukherjee, who was attached to the university during Dilip Sinha’s tenure as vice-chancellor, allegedly played a key role in Mukti Deb’s recruitment as applied math lecturer on the basis of forged marksheets.
Sinha and Deb were arrested in connection with the case on June 25 from their Calcutta houses, like Mukherjee today.
“We have arrested Mukherjee on the basis of specific evidences from his residence in Lake area. During investigation, we came to know about the role he had played in Deb’s recruitment. He is one of the conspirators,” a CID official said.
He is the second former Visva-Bharati registrar to be arrested after Dwijadas Banerjee, who was held earlier in a separate case of stolen Tagore manuscripts.
Elaborating on Mukherjee’s role, an official at CID’s Bhawani Bhavan headquarters said: “He was the secretary of the (university’s) selection committee when Deb was recruited. Apart from this, he was supposed to verify whether Deb’s papers produced during the process of recruitment were authentic.”
Sinha was then the chairman of the selection committee and had attested photocopies of Deb’s certificates. He was charged by the sleuths with helping Deb — who taught students for over seven years — get the lecturer’s job despite knowing that her academic certificates and marksheets from BSc to MPhil were forged.
During investigations, sleuths were said to have found that Mukherjee did not verify a single certificate submitted by Deb.
“We are now trying to find out how he evaded other members of the selection committee. After interrogating him thoroughly, we will be able to disclose his exact nature of involvement,” another CID official said.
Mukherjee has been booked on the charges of cheating, using forged documents and criminal conspiracy, and remanded in judicial custody till July 21 by the Bolpur court.
All three accused — Sinha, Deb and Mukherjee — would be produced before the magistrate in Bolpur that day.
Opposing bail, public prosecutor Abul Naseem said it was Mukherjee’s duty as secretary of the selection committee to verify Deb’s documents. “How can he deny his involvement in the scam'” Naseem asked.
Mukherjee’s lawyer Mohammad Shamsud Juha pleaded for bail and said: “He followed Sinha’s orders. Whatever was done was done under instruction of the then vice-chancellor.”
The news of the latest arrest met with anger more than shock on the Visva-Bharati campus.