School funds cloud on principal in Murshidabad
The headmaster of a reputable high school in Murshidabad’s Bhrampore had been chargesheeted by police in June for alleged misappropriation of Rs 10.43 lakh from school funds, but “scant action” has been taken against him since then, the institution’s authorities have said in a news meet.
Administrators alleged the whereabouts of accused Himadri Chowdhury, headmaster of the 150-year old school since 2019, are known and he was living at home despite the chargesheet saying he was “absconding”.
An FIR relating to the same offence was filed in February by the school managing committee, along with a letter to the district inspector of schools prompting an internal investigation, authorities of Krishnath College High School told the media on Friday.
“Initial estimates pegged missing funds in excess of Rs 23 lakh, which prompted us to write to the district inspector,” said Debashish Nandy, a managing committee member of the school.
“The DI’s review confirmed Rs 10 lakh was unaccounted for, following which we filed an FIR in Behrampore in February. Nonetheless, scant action has been taken against the offender (Chowdhury) despite a chargesheet and evidence of his wrongdoing. This is why we held this press conference,” added managing committee president Sanjib Mazumdar.
Administrators have since alleged this inaction could be because of “ruling party connections”.
“There is ample evidence of his wrongdoing, starting with an internal probe by the DI. Bank officials were consulted too,” said Mazumdar.
This paper tried to contact two of Chowdhury’s phones but none was answered.
Managing committee members are of the opinion that aside from the evident crime, Chowdhury and his “evasion of justice” were bringing "slander to our prestigious school".
District superintendent of police, K. Sabari Rajkumar, said he had not been apprised of the details of the case yet but would make an inquiry.
Police said that an arrest could not be made without a court warrant unless the proven offence attracted at least seven years in prison.
Chowdhury stands to be proven guilty, according to committee sources, under Sections 420, 406 and 403 of the Indian P enal Code.