Kalyani, July 20: Police have started a probe against an assistant professor of Kalyani University’s visual arts department allegedly for raping a lady researcher inside the campus on several occasions since November last year.
The case has been started based on a complaint lodged by the 37-year victim at Kalyani police station on Monday. However, till Wednesday evening the accused assistant professor Bibekananda Mukherjee, a renowned painter, and resident of Noapara, who was the official ‘research guide’ of the victim could neither be arrested nor questioned as he appeared to be elusive to the sleuths.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday police took the woman to the ACJM court in Kalyani where she recorded her statement before a magistrate. At the same time, a probing team visited the campus and examined the spots where the alleged torture occurred.
A section of the teachers and students of the Kalyani University meanwhile has blamed the authorities for trying to protect the accused teacher as they alleged that the university did not bother to initiate any legal step against him except removing him as the head of the department.
Sources inside the university said, before the police complaint, the victim woman during March had submitted a written complaint to the vice chancellor against the teacher. The VC as an immediate step replaced her guide and constituted an internal inquiry committee.
The committee headed by a lady assistant professor sought clarification from Mukherjee about the allegations against him, which he ignored blatantly. The University authorities eventually issued a show cause notice to him. But, his reply was ‘quite unsatisfactory’.
“Nevertheless, the university administration mysteriously remained silent and did not bother to lodge a police complaint against him. It appears that top officials of the university administration were eager to protect him”, a senior professor said. Vice Chancellor Manas Kumar Sannyal did not take calls.
In her complaint, the victim has stated that during the period from November last year to February this year, Mukherjee being her research guide had summoned her to the campus on trivial grounds on several occasions and raped her exploiting the absence of other faculty members in the isolated campus of the department.
“I was very much ashamed and afraid…I could not share the mental and physical torture with none. I felt scared of my security at campus and at the same time was concerned about the fate of my research work…However, eventually, I informed the vice-chancellor about the entire incident in writing”, the victim stated in her complaint.
Superintendent of police, Ranaghat police district Avijit Banerjee said, “We have begun a probe. We have talked to the victim…The accused will also be questioned”.