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Updated: April 16, 2013 04:18 IST

Mahapatra a ‘forgotten cause’

Shiv Sahay Singh
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Ambikesh Mahapatra, Professor of Jadavpur University, being produced at a city court in Kolkata in this file photo.
Ambikesh Mahapatra, Professor of Jadavpur University, being produced at a city court in Kolkata in this file photo.

Jadavpur varsity professor still faces charges

A year after he was arrested for forwarding an e-mail containing graphics of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Jadavpur University professor Ambikesh Mahapatra has “very little hope of justice” from the West Bengal government.

There has been no action on the recommendations of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission (WBHRC) to compensate him and initiate proceedings against the police officers responsible for his arrest. Rather, Prof. Mahapatra and his neighbour Subrata Sengupta, booked under Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, must answer charges in court.

“Over the past one year I have knocked on every door and pleaded for justice. I have written to President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chairperson of the Press Council of India Justice Markandey Katju but have got no respite,” Prof. Mahapatra told The Hindu here on Monday.

Holding that the arrest of the two was a case of “police excess and highhandedness,” the WBHRC had ordered in August last that they be paid Rs. 50,000 each.

However, the State, according to a WBHRC official, sought more time to make its views clear on the matter — eight months after the expiry of the six-week time it had sought in March 2013.

“I was assaulted by a group of people on April 12 last year, forced to spend the entire night at a police station and released on bail the next day. It is clear that the State government does not want to accept the recommendation and only wants to buy time,” Prof. Mahapatra said.

“Though my arrest generated severe criticism [from] the media and civil society, a year later the cause seems to be forgotten and I am left to fend for myself,” he said.

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