Other States

They targeted me for resisting Trinamool-run syndicate, says professor


Jadavpur University professor Ambikesh Mahapatra, who was arrested and later released on bail for circulating defamatory e-mails was targeted because he resisted a syndicate run by local Trinamool Congress leaders engaged in supplying building materials to his housing cooperative.

Stating this here on Saturday, Mr. Mahapatra said he was threatened on several occasions in the past by those running the syndicate.

“The e-mails were just a pretext for harassing me. Some locals who claim to be Trinamool Congress leaders were upset with me as I tried to stop their unfair practices in the cooperative,” he told The Hindu.

Mr. Mahapatra who is assistant secretary of the New Garia Development Cooperative Housing Society in the southern fringes of the city since 2009 had blocked the syndicate's contracts to supply building materials.

“Massive corruption”

He, along with the secretary of the housing complex Subrata Sengupta (who was also arrested), had pointed out irregularities and corruption in the functioning of the syndicate.

“There was huge corruption in the residential complex before I was elected. In the name of a registered housing cooperative, they were acting as promoters and buying and selling land,” Mr Mahapatra said.

Significantly, it was on Thursday evening when he was harassed by a group of youths for circulating the e-mail that Mr. Mahapatra was forced to declare that he will not continue as an office-bearer of the housing cooperative. He was also threatened against contesting elections to the cooperative society slated for May.

Safety concerns

Even as four persons were arrested and later released on bail by a city court on the basis of a complaint made by Mr. Mahapatra, his family is concerned about his safety.

Those arrested are local Trinamool Congress leaders, one of whom had lodged a complaint against Mr. Mahapatra for circulating defamatory e-mails. The others included those behind the building materials supply syndicate.

“I am concerned about the safety of my husband. I fear that he can be attacked when none of us is around,” Jolly Mahapatra, his wife, said.

Stating that other members of the cooperative have been attacked, Mr Mahapatra said that several residents were concerned about their security. “We want to live peacefully without any fear or threats from outsiders,” he said.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 1:18:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/they-targeted-me-for-resisting-trinamoolrun-syndicate-says-professor/article3315483.ece

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