The Ministry of Human Resource Development relieved Tripura University Vice Chancellor VL Dharurkar from his post on Saturday after a sting video of him purportedly taking a bribe surfaced, Northeast Now reported. In the sting, the vice chancellor was shown taking a bribe from a Kolkata-based printing firm for a contract worth Rs 60 lakh.
Dharurkar, who had been appointed the vice chancellor in July 2018, had nearly four years of his term left, The Indian Express reported. Dharurkar claimed that the video had been doctored and that he had resigned citing a threat to his life, the newspaper said.
“The former Registrar in charge of the university, Shanit Debroy, is behind the entire episode,” Dharurkar told The Indian Express. “I had demoted him to the post of Deputy Registrar and did not allow him to apply for the post of Registrar as he did not have a Masters degree. He had a fake diploma in management from Patna. He had moved the court, but recently we won the case in the Tripura High Court.”
Dharurkar claimed that his decision to investigate a Rs 10 crore e-book scam also led to his downfall. He accused Debroy of using the media to malign his image.
“The recording was done two months before the Lok Sabha polls,” Dharurkar claimed. “The concocted video was aired on September 5. Today, they played another clip. It relates to our plan to launch a Lord Mahavir Chair.” He said that somebody from Kolkata wanted to donated Rs 30 lakh to the college, but this was edited in the video and it was shown as if he was taking a bribe.
But Debroy denied the charges. “I have already retired from the university,” he said. “And the case in the HC has got nothing to do with his resignation. I run a newspaper that is in no way associated with News Vanguard [the channel that aired the sting].”
However, an unidentified university official told Northeast Now that Dharurkar refused to resign. “On Saturday, the MHRD had no option but to relieve him from the position of VC and directed senior professor Sangram Sinha to take charge,” the professor said.
Dharurkar had been in the cross-hairs of the HRD ministry for a while. It had sought a report in April from the university registrar on complaints of financial irregularities against Dharurkar, and his appointment of guest teachers.
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