The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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VHP-link penalty revoked

Burdwan, Oct. 8: The West Bengal state administrative tribunal has revoked the suspension order of Biplab Das, VHP district secretary and an employee of the public works department posted at the Burdwan medical college. The authorities were asked “to allow Das to resume duty with all financial benefits immediately” in the October 3 order.

But Das has not been allowed to join work by the local authorities.

Das was suspended for organising a VHP rally to celebrate Ram Navami at the local town hall on April 20, where over 1,000 kar sevaks took a pledge to help construct a Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. District magistrate Manoj Agarwal said Das had flouted government service rules by holding the post of secretary of the VHP’s district unit.

The suspension order, issued by the PWD superintending engineer (electrical), said Das was found guilty of criminal conspiracy against the state government for organising the VHP’s meeting that aimed at communal disharmony. Agarwal said Das was suspended on April 23 on the government’s instructions after he sent a report.

The controversy began when it was found that the VHP rally was organised with permission from the district administration. In fact, deputy magistrate Moni Mohan Chowdhury was present at the town hall with a large posse of policemen to maintain peace. But the district magistrate denied having given permission for the rally in the town hall and later, Chowdhury denied he was present there with a police force.

When Das challenged the suspension order, the state administrative tribunal (SAT) said: “On scrutiny of the records, we do not find any material of incriminating nature in this case against the applicant (Das).”

Das’ advocate, Jay Shankar Roy, alleged that the PWD executive engineer did not allow Das to join office on Monday despite the SAT’s directives. Executive engineer Dibyojyoti Basak said he had not received order from his superiors, allowing Das to resume duty.

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