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CM, CS Book selling Scam : Honest Deputy Director has been made a scapegoat
Amitabha Sengupta
CM, CS Book selling Scam : Honest Deputy Director has been made a scapegoat
PHOTO : June 2 Govt Order asking all DEOs and HMs to purchase books written by CM, CS. TIWN File Photo

AGARTALA, September 1 (TIWN): Corruption has now become so much a part of Govt that even Government machineries are being used to give benefit to a private publishing agency obviously due to the owner's personal and very close relation with top echelons of Government. And when everything came to light, an honest and efficient officer in the rank of Deputy Director has been suspended with a clear motive to suppress the full story at the grassroot level. But very foolishly, the School Education Department, which is itself suffering from various ills, had made a great blunder of asking Schools to buy private books written by CM and CS. The situation is such that if the suspended officer appears before the High Court challenging the suspension order, the entire School Education Department is likely to face severe humiliation.

     Recently the Addl Director of School Education Department, Government of Tripura issued an order vide letter No.F.19(38)-SE/RMSA/2010(Loose) dt 2 June 2014, instructing all 8 District Education Officers to procure two books- 'Atit Diner Smriti' written by Chief Minister Manik Sarkar and 'Eker sathe ek mile egara' written by the the Chief Secretary S K Panda out of Annual Fund provided to 839 schools by RMSA 2013-14. Soon it sparked a storm of controversy and under tremendous pressure from all corners, state govt took an initiative to suppress the incident. In order to give shelter to top level officials in School Education Department, it issued a suspension letter to the Deputy Director Ambalika Datta, putting the total blame on her over the whole issue.

But TRIPURAINFOWAY's investigating team found out some interesting news and  facts that would simply arise a storm of controversy in the state. In the interest of its readers will continue to reveal what its investigating team has found out in this episode.

      It is learnt that Director P K Chakraborty suspended Deputy Director Ambalika Datta for her involvement on this issue . It is also alleged by the Department that Ambalika Datta has gone out of station without permission from her department. And, from here the story begins. According a top level official in the School Education Department Ambalika Datta's only son who is an engineering student in Kota, had recently became ill and had been hospitalized . As a result of it, Ambalika Datta was forced to go outside the state to take care of her ailing son. Before she left, she had submitted a Leave Petition for 45 days but the Director P K Chakraborty allowed only 30 days of leave along with station leave permission (Received copy of the grant letter is with Ambalika Datta). So the question of going outside state without permisssion is not valid here. The more interesting fact here is that Ambalika Datta, being a lower level official has no right to issue an order to her higher level officials nor she has any involvement on that particular malpractice. The plot was actually made by the owner of the private publishing agency Jyan Bichitra, Debananda Dam and that too because of his very close personal relationship with Chief Minister Manik Sarkar as well as the then Chief Secretary S K Panda. 

      According to a top level official in the School Education Department, Debananda Dam wrote a letter addressing the Principal Secretary K Rajeswar Rao requesting him to take steps for selling huge quantity of these two particular books through this department. Accordingly the letter was received by Jogomaya Chakma, Branch Officer of General Section of School Education Department. After this Jogomaya Chakma sent the letter to Rajeswar Rao's table. Without wasting time Principal Secretary sent the matter to Director P K Chakraborty to look into it. At this, Director P K Chakraborty asked Dilip Kumar Debbarma, who is the head of Planning & Budget Section as well as Officer on Special Duty of RMSA, whether fund is available to procure such huge quantity of books. D K Debbarma told the Director that there is no such fund. At this Director called Ambalika Datta, who is looking after RMSA since it was introduced in Tripura, and verbally asked whether such funds can be arranged from RMSA. TIWN sources add that Ambalika Datta verbally told the Director that funds are there and 'If  Department wants to procure these two books, necessary funds can be arranged.' There was no written communication between the Director and Ambalika Datta. Knowing this Director asked DO K Debbarma to issue such order to all DEOs. But the letter somehow got leaked and media came to know about the entire episode. And under serious pressure and humiliation Director P K Chakraborty suspended Deputy Director Ambalika Datta who is known for her honesty as well as stubborn attitude. Actually Ambalika Datta was under the scanner of so many officials close to Melarmath. TIWN sources add that at present there are 17 officers of Deputy Director Rank in School Education Department and out of this only Ambalika Datta is from General Category. And ever since the introduction of RMSA in Tripura she has been doing significant job. Even on the first Ambalika Datta skillfully used her diplomacy to bring Rs 100 crore from Centre under RMSA. Now when the malpractice came to light highlighting the motive of the state govt in encouraging a private agency obtaining huge profit by selling books(which have no significance with the well being of students) such an honest officer has been made scapegoat in order to suppress the matter.

      Melarmath's top bosses are unhappy with Ambalika Datta ever since she started to take a strong attitude against the Cashier Arnab Chakraborty, who is strongly supported by Melarmath. So powerful Arnab Chakraborty is, that he only comes to the office four working days a month but still manages his office work through instructions given over phone from Kolkata. TIWN sources also added that Arnab Chakraborty has been trying to remove Ambalika from her post for long, obviously encouraged by his Melarmath bosses.

As of now following questions are surrounding the School Education Department:

1) Isn’t it inhuman to suspend an official who is out of station after taking valid permission from her higher authorities to stand by her only son, who is now hospitalised?

2) How can she be involved on this issue when all the officials involved in making arrangements to issue the procurement order of the said two books are of higher rank than her?

3) What will happen if Ambalika Datta appears before the High Court challenging the order of suspension ?

4) How can Ambalika Datta be held responsible in this case especially when there is no specific proof against her?

5) Is School Education Department trying to subdue any corruption by issuing suspension order to Ambalika Datta?

6) Can CM Sarkar and CS Panda deny their close relationship with owner of Gyan Bichitra Publication and related publishing deals awarded to this specific publishing house over the years ?

7) Can Govt answer how many books written by CM Sarkar and CS Panda are purchased so far by Govt  from Gyan Bichitra  and  how much Royalty went to whose pockets ?



 TRIPURAINFOWAY exclusive news on August 25



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