PRESIDENCY CALLS IN COPS 

Read more below

By Staff Reporter in Calcutta
  • Published 25.03.02
  •  
Calcutta, March 25 :    Calcutta, March 25:  Barely a week after the SFI won the union elections in Presidency College, the authorities on Monday called for a probe against a candidate, who had allegedly got admission to the college on a "fake" marksheet. The probe has caught the college authorities on the backfoot. "Never before in the history of Presidency has the police been called in to probe an allegation of this kind," said Amitava Chatterjee, principal. "We did not find any irregularity in the documents produced by the student at the time of admission. At the same time, we cannot rule out the allegation. Since forging of marksheets is a criminal offence, we had to ask the police to step in," added Chatterjee. Members of the Independent Consolidation (IC), who controlled the college union for over a decade before being ousted by the SFI this time, had lodged a complaint last Wednesday, saying that Siddharth Shah, a student of the Hindi department, had got admission by producing a "fake" Higher Secondary marksheet. Sources also hinted at the possibility of Shah's real name being Sisham Jaiswal, a resident of Champdani, in Hooghly. "It could be that the marksheet Jaiswal produced is not false but belongs to the original Siddharth Shah," they added. Subrata Lahiri, senior teacher, Hindi department, however, said that Shah's performance had been quite satisfactory over the past two years, which is why he and his colleagues did not find the allegation acceptable. IC members on Monday criticised the college authorities for not asking the police to start the probe the day they had lodged the complaint. They alleged that the authorities had not called for a probe last week to avoid re-election to five seats, which in turn could have reduced the SFI's chances of forming the union. At that time, the SFI had won 31 seats, including that of Siddharth Shah, while the IC bagged 30. But later, the equations changed, as three candidates backed out, which reduced the strength of the IC from 30 to 27. This, the IC alleged, was the SFI's "handiwork". The college authorities had lashed out last week at the allegation, saying the complainants had failed to provide any "substantial evidence". Ram P. Choudhury, SFI member in charge of the Presidency polls, denied the allegation that his party could not have formed the union if Shah's candidature was cancelled.