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Fraud tag on teacher duo - Lakhs fleeced against pledge of jobs abroad, claim youths

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OUR BUREAU   |   Published 07.06.05, 12:00 AM

A teaching couple of Kalyani University was served a showcause notice after a group of youths met the vice-chancellor (VC), alleging that the two had duped them of several lakhs by promising jobs abroad.

Vice-chancellor Aloke Banerjee has asked both teachers to respond within a week.

The youths met Banerjee after police allegedly did not pay heed. ?I am surprised, as both Asit Bhattacharya and his wife Reena have been with the university for more than a decade,? Banerjee said.

When contacted, Bhattacharya rubbished the allegations. ?We never promised jobs to anyone,? he said.

According to the complaint lodged with Baranagar police station, an advertisement was published in newspapers in July 2004. ?It offered jobs abroad. Accordingly, we went to the address mentioned, on Dum Dum Road, and met them,? said Somenath Ganguly, of Behala, one of the group that met the VC.

Ganguly said the couple had promised them jobs in St Petersburg, Russia. ?They told us that we would work in hotels, restaurants and petrol pumps. Each of us would have to fork out Rs 3.5 lakh for passage money and initial lodging.? Raju Ghosh, another complainant from Santipur, Nadia, said at least 18 youths, from North and South 24-Parganas, Nadia and Hooghly districts, had knocked on the Bhattacharyas? door.

The youths left the city and took a flight to St Petersburg via Bangkok. ?Bhattacharya?s son Arijit and two others were escorting us. After we reached Bangkok, Arijit said he did not have money to take us to St Petersburg and asked for another Rs 1.5 lakh,? recalled Ghosh.

The youths refused to pay the extra amount and demanded Rs 3.5 lakh back. ?But they refused and left Bangkok, leaving us behind,? said Anup Biswas, another member of the group from Nadia. ?After 10 days in Bangkok, we returned.?

When Bhattacharya refused to return the money even after they were back in Calcutta, the youths went to Baranagar police station on April 2 to lodge an FIR. ?But police insisted that we lodge a general diary, saying they will conduct an inquiry and then initiate a case.?

Praveen Kumar, superintendent of police, North 24-Parganas, said: ?I have asked the sub-divisional police officer of Belghoria to conduct an inquiry. The professor duo has already been granted bail.?

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