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Thursday , August 9 , 2012
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Cash-for-seats buzz in colleges
Guardian claims pressure from cops

Police are allegedly trying to pressure a woman to withdraw a complaint she had lodged with a college principal stating that Trinamul student leaders had taken money from her to get her nephew admitted to the institution.

“An officer of Amherst Street police station has requested me to take back the complaint lodged with the Vidyasagar Evening College principal as the three students have apologised and refunded the money,” the complainant said. “Coming from a cop, that amounts to pressure.”

Principal Ram Swarup Gangopadhyay had forwarded the complaint to the police, asking for a probe.

When asked about the woman’s allegation, an officer of the police station said on Wednesday: “The complaint has been withdrawn and we have wrapped up the probe.”

The complainant as well as the principal, however, denied that the complaint had been withdrawn. “I have not withdrawn the complaint. The guardian has not asked me to do so. I had asked the police to probe the case but they are yet to tell me what they have done,” the principal said.

“I have not told the principal to withdraw the complaint because I want the case to be investigated,” said the guardian.

In her complaint lodged on July 18, the guardian had said that the three accused had taken Rs 8,000 from her as advance for getting her nephew admitted to the first-year history honours class. After the admission, they were to be paid another Rs 7,000.

One of the accused is a former secretary of the Trinamul Chhatra Parishad in the college and the other two are class representatives backed by the organisation.

After the principal had forwarded the complaint to the police station, charges of cheating and criminal conspiracy were slapped on the trio.

Soon after, the accused and their guardians turned up at the complainant’s home and returned the money.

They also wrote an apology, in which they alleged that the general secretary of the students union of the college had taken a cut. Metro has a copy of the letter but is not naming the general secretary and the other three accused.

“We are apologising for what we have done…. The general secretary of the union took a part of the money, though he is denying it. We are returning the entire sum of Rs 8,000 and pledge that we won’t commit such mistakes again,” reads the letter signed by the three. When Metro contacted the general secretary, he denied the charge.

A teacher of the college said the police were “trying to hush up the case because of political fallout”.