|Arabul Islam, (above) invigilator Gopa Roy who complained against him. Picture by Bibhash Lodh
Calcutta, March 14: The centre-in-charge of a higher secondary exam venue in South 24-Parganas’ Bhangar today alleged that Arabul Islam, a local Trinamul leader, had stormed into classrooms and asked invigilators to help the students with answers during the English exam.
The alleged incident took place at Narayanpur High School, about 30km from Calcutta, between 12noon and 12-20pm during the exams, held from 10am to 1pm.
Arabul, whose affidavit for the 2011 Assembly election says he is “10th Pass”, has been known to try and meddle in the affairs of academic institutions in his fief. As president of the governing body of Bhangar Mahavidyalaya, his angry gesticulations during a college governing body meeting in April 2012 had sent a jug crashing into a teacher’s chin. Debjani Dey suffered a cut that required two stitches.
An invigilator at the Narayanpur exam centre who did not want to be named told The Telegraph that Arabul had come to the school with seven-eight people and wondered after entering one of the classrooms why there were as many as three guards for an English test. “Who is in charge of the hall? Help them (examinees) out so that they can write answers. Don’t stop them if the examinees want to see something and write,” the teacher, who said he was “dumbfounded” by the sudden entry quoted Arabul as saying.
An assistant sub-inspector and two constables were on duty at the exam centre’s entrance.
The centre-in-charge, Gopa Roy, alleged that Arabul went into several classrooms on the ground floor and the first floor one after the other “so fast that we could not immediately figure out what to do”.
She lodged a complaint at the HS council’s Salt Lake headquarters at the end of the day, when she went there with the answer scripts after the second session of the exams.
Arabul, president of the Trinamul-run Bhangar panchayat samiti, denied the charge. “I was not inside the school. The centre-in-charge is making false allegations to malign me.”
Roy said the police should have stopped Arabul at the entrance. “He (Arabul) assured the examinees that the invigilators would help them with all answers. When I asked him how he could enter the centre, Arabul Islam verbally abused and threatened me before leaving,” said Roy, the headmistress of a nearby primary school.
According to the council’s rules, no outsider can enter a school when an exam is in progress. “We received a complaint and we will look into it,” said a senior official of the council.
An officer of the Bhangar police station said Arabul “had gone close to the school but not to the school”. South 24-Parganas additional superintendent of police (east) K.P. Barui said: “No one has submitted any complaint with the Bhangar police. But I have sought a report from the police station.”
But centre-in-charge Roy said she had called officer-in-charge Ashis Das to tell him about what had just happened and “he said such an incident would not happen again”.