500 fake cards in library
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- Published 21.09.07
|National Library: Membership scam. A Telegraph picture|
The National Library authorities have stumbled upon 500 forged membership cards, allegedly issued by a section of employees.
The scam follows an expose of a racket, also involving employees, that smuggled out several rare books.
A senior library official who did not want to be named said the authorities came to know about the forged cards while checking the registers and documents relating to rare books and periodicals.
“Kris Manjupra, a Canadian national studying Bengali literature, was among the recipients of forged cards. The card number was identical to that of a bona fide member, Arpita Das, a student from Barrackpore,” the official said.
“The discovery prompted us to run a check on the registers and other documents, during which we came across the 500-odd forged cards. Each card has a number identical to that of a genuine member,” the official added.
The recipients of the forged cards are mostly foreign nationals, who come on a short visit to the city for research. “Instead of going through the elaborate process of enrolling as a member, they find it convenient to bribe employees and obtain forged cards. The racket has been active for quite some time,” the official said.
Assistant librarian and information officer of the library Syed Abuzar said: “An investigation is on. I am not authorised to speak to the media.”
Librarian Ramachandran, who has been overseeing the daily affairs of the library following the retirement of director Sudhendu Mondal last month, was not forthcoming, either. “This is an administrative matter. All the issues related to the library will be probed once a new director assumes office,” he said.
Metro had earlier reported how some employees were smuggling out copies of the rare Bengali periodical Kallol, making photocopies and selling them. Most of the originals are yet to reach the shelves.
“Things have come to such a pass that anybody can get access to rare books and periodicals. The authorities are sitting tight on complaints,” said Saibal Chakraborty, the secretary of the National Library Staff Association.