Chandannagar Police on Wednesday arrested two persons, including an ABVP member, for allegedly demanding money in exchange for ensuring admission in a college under Calcutta University.
Sources said the accused had allegedly demanded Rs 20,000 from two candidates in exchange for BCom Honours seats in Uttarpara’s Raja Peary Mohan College. The development comes a day after four Trinamool Chhatra Parishad (TMCP) units were dissolved over reports of student leaders extorting money in exchange for admission.
“Two persons were arrested, Sanju Singh and Subh Adhikari. Sanju is a student of the same college while Subh had no connection with the college,” said ADC of Chandannagar Commissionerate, Amlan Ghosh. The arrests were made after the candidates approached by the accused informed college authorities, who then informed the police. Denying the allegation, Sanju told reporters, “I did nothing, two girls had come to seek help. I told them I will try but there is no question of taking money from them.”
The local BJP unit also refuted the allegations, saying Sanju was arrested because of political rivalry. “The allegation against Sanju is false. BJP is not at all connected with the incident. ABVP is an RSS wing and it has a unit in that college. TMC student unions are collecting money. Now that they are being exposed, they are falsely trying to drag our people into it. He has been arrested due to political rivalry,” said local BJP leader Bhaskar Bhattacharya. Local Trinamool Congress MLA Prabir Ghoshal, on the other hand, said the “money for a college seat’ racket has been part of the education system since the Left Front regime
“The accused is associated with the other wing of RSS. Now it’s exposed that the BJP is involved in this case. Extorting money in the name of admission is prevalent in Bengal since the CPM regime. The TMC government is trying to permanently finish this culture.” Speaking on the cash-for-seats issue at large, BJP state president Dilip Ghosh yet again lashed out at Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. “The government is puzzled over the issue. They have no control over anything, whether it’s their party, administration, education or other issues,” he said.
On Tuesday, the education department made significant changes in the college admission process, doing away with the verification and counselling stages to wipe out the role of middlemen. The government also mandated that all admission-related payments would have to be made either electronically or at designated bank branches, not at colleges.
CP pays surprise visit to Surendranath
Meanwhile, Commissioner of Kolkata Police Rajeev Kumar on Wednesday paid a surprise visit to Surendranath College and interacted with varsity authorities. The move comes after six people were arrested from different parts of Kolkata, including present and former students of renowned colleges for irregularities in the admission process. On Tuesday, a student of Surendranath College was caught red-handed accepting money from a candidate in exchange for a seat in the college.
Two days ago, Mamata, during her visit to Ashutosh College, had said that many people from economically weak backgrounds come for admission to the college. She had requested college authorities and police to ensure that these students do not face problems due to such rackets.