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Bengal doc in Tripura cop custody for scam

Agartala, April 19: A senior Calcutta doctor has been arrested on charges of duping two persons, including a doctor in Tripura, with false promises of admitting their wards into medical institutes.

Dr Shantanu Tathagata Paul, under arrest for fleecing money from a senior gynaecologist here and a government employee of Udaipur, was today produced in court and remanded in three days’ police custody. He was brought here from Calcutta yesterday by an East Agartala police team, led by sub-inspector Prajit Malakar. Dr Paul is a radiologist who has a laboratory in Calcutta’s Salt Lake. His entire family, including his parents and wife, are doctors.

Sources in East Agartala police station said city-based senior gynaecologist Dr Dilip Bhowmik and a government employee of Udaipur, Ramkrsihna Banik, had filed FIRs against Vaichitrya Sarkar of Apollo hospital, Calcutta, and Dr Paul in July last year. They had been fleeced of Rs 40 lakh and Rs 20 lakh respectively in lieu of promises of having their sons admitted to MD course in Chun Chun Giri Institute of Medical Science in Bangalore.

Sarkar is a physiotherapist, who was employed with Apollo hospital in Calcutta,

The sources said both Dr Bhowmik and Banik had initially contacted Sarkar, who introduced them to Dr Paul, saying he would arrange for the admissions. “But soon they realised they had been defrauded when the call for admission never came. They started pressing for refund but when they failed to get a response, they filed FIRs last year,” Malakar said.

He said they had arrested Sarkar from Calcutta last year. After having spent three months in judicial custody, he obtained bail in January this year. “Paul, the second person named in the FIRs, was missing but we got information that he was involved in another fraud case in Calcutta and contacted Calcutta police and brought him here yesterday. However, the two persons who lost money have not got back anything so far,” Malakar said.

Sources said besides these two cases, no other such case has been registered in the state so far.

On why the boys were seeking admission outside when a number of colleges have come up in the region, the sources said possibly they did not qualify in the joint entrance test for admission to government-run post-graduate institutes in the region.

Guardians of students seeking admission to medical and engineering colleges outside the state are often taken for a ride, as there are many engineering colleges that are not affiliated with AICTE (All India Council for Technical Education).

“The higher education department here has a database of registered and affiliated institutions but it is not updated. So what is needed here is not only the latest information but government-run facilitation centres for students seeking admission to medical and engineering colleges outside the state,” said Dipak Sarkar, a guardian and an officer in the rural development department. He said agency offices of medical and engineering colleges for admission of students had mushroomed. “Every year, at least 2,500 students from Tripura go outside for admission but a section of them later find that the institutions do not have appropriate registration or affiliation with AICTE or UGC,” Sarkar said.


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