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Murder case in JU death

A murder case has been started in connection with the death of a Sanskrit teacher at Jadavpur University, in which a former vice-chancellor and the current registrar are among the eight accused.

Avijit Ghosh, 60, was found dead inside a locked washroom on the campus on July 16. In her complaint lodged with the Alipore court, Ghosh’s wife Chandra alleged that the eight accused had “mentally harassed” her husband.

The court ordered Jadavpur police station to inquire the matter, following which an FIR has been lodged and a case of murder and criminal conspiracy started.

Among the accused named in Chandra’s complaint are former VC Souvik Bhattacharyya; registrar Pradip Ghosh; and the head of the Sanskrit department, Tapan Shankar Bhattacharya.

Chandra alleged that Jadavpur police station had refused to accept her murder complaint on two occasions after Durga Puja, forcing her to move court on December 12 to get an FIR registered.

Police had cited the preliminary post-mortem report to declare that the death was “due to a heart attack”.

On Friday, a day after the court complaint reached the police station, senior officers at Lalbazar said there was no foul play. “The post-mortem report clearly says the death is due to the effects of diseased condition of the heart,” said joint commissioner (crime) Pallab Kanti Ghosh.

The teacher, who was on an extension, was spotted by a sweeper lying inside the bathroom. A doctor declared him dead. The night before, his family had lodged a missing diary with Garfa police station after he failed to return home from work.

“Initially, I accepted the news (that the death was caused by an ailing heart) on face value. But later some of my friends and relatives analysed the situation to me ... that raised suspicions about the circumstances leading to the death,” Chandra told Metro on Friday.

She said her husband, an assistant professor for 25 years, had been “fighting for professorship” over the past decade and won the legal battle at the high court. He was expecting “the joining letter as professor” to come any day.

“My husband had been subjected to autocracy at workplace. The names I have mentioned in the complaint are of those who in my opinion could have influenced his mind in a negative way,” she said.

Registrar Pradip Kumar Ghosh said: “I cannot say what prompted the family to lodge a complaint against us at this stage.” Tapan Shankar Bhattacharya refused to comment. Souvik Bhattacharyya said: “I have no comment”.

“A thorough probe will be launched. Registering an FIR doesn’t really mean that the accused have to be arrested,” said an officer.