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School panel head faces probe

Malda, July 25: Twenty-four hours after Gour Banga University ordered a probe into alleged financial irregularities against Dilip Karmakar, the assistant professor of chemistry at Malda College took over as the new chairman of the District Primary School Council (DPSC) today.

The allegation against Karmakar was brought by the Trinamul Congress Chhatra Parishad.

According to a university source, a three-member committee had been formed by the vice-chancellor yesterday to probe financial irregularities allegedly committed by Karmakar. The team comprises registrar Shyam Sundar Bairagya, inspector of colleges, Apurba Chakraborty, and development officer, Rajib Putatunda. The allegations against Karmakar were connected to the excavation of a pond, beautification of the Malda College campus and the loss of a film projector last year.

The three-member team had visited Malda College yesterday. Karmakar, however, was not present at the college.

Karmakar, when contacted today, said he failed to understand the necessity for a probe.

“I do not know why some old issues are being raked up. I have heard that a probe team has been formed. I am not thinking about it. I had asked for a release letter from the college and I have received it today. I have taken over as the chairman of the DPSC. However, I will be taking classes at the college at least twice a week.”

Karmakar’s nomination by the state government had not gone down well with a section of the Trinamul’s district leadership. The opposition had come mainly from the zilla parishad and panchayat samity members from Englishbazar because Karmakar was with the CPM earlier.

It was around 1pm today that Karmakar arrived at the DPSC office. He took charge from the district inspector of schools (primary), Tripti Guha.

“Malda is a backward district as far as education is concerned. We have shortage of teachers for primary schools. We have 340 vacancies for teaching posts. I will try and see that more and more children go to school. At present, we have more than three lakh students studying in 1,925 schools in the district. I appeal to all in the education department to co-operate fully with me and improve the situation,” Karmakar said.

The four zilla parishad members and 21 members of the Englishbazar panchayat samity had written to the party leadership to reinstate Swapan Mishra as the DPSC chairman. Mishra is a Trinamul member of the panchayat samity. They had earlier even threatened to quit the party if Karmakar was appointed.

According to a University source, there were financial irregularities of Rs 5 lakh in pond excavation and beautification of the campus. Karmakar was also accused of spending Rs 60,000 on the projector which is in excess of the actual cost. Karmakar was heading the development committee of the institution when these works were taken up.

Ujjwal Chowdhury, the party’s zilla parishad member, said they were waiting for he reaction of the state leadership.

“We have written to the state leadership about our stand and we are waiting for a reply. That is all I will say today.”