Mumbai: VL Dharurkar, currently Vice-Chancellor of the Tripura University in Agartala was caught taking bribe in a sting operation by a local news channel. He is from Aurangabad and was earlier the head of the dept of Journalism and Mass Communication at Marathwada University. He was appointed VC of this central university in July last year.
Dharurkar had landed in another controversy in July this year after he had hoisted a flag of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) at a campus event organised by the right-wing student body. He defended his action by terming ABVP as a cultural organisation.
The sting operation was conducted and aired by ‘Vanguard News’ on Thursday while the news was first published by The Hindu.
He was allegedly demanding 10 per cent for Rs60 lakh worth of printing work being given to a Kolkata-based printing firm. The sting video shows Dharurkar negotiating and accepting bribe to favour contracts.
The Office of the Vice Chancellor or Prof Dharurkar himself has not commented on the serious accusations. An official in public relations office of the university also refused comment.
The clips were shot in the official VC chamber and at private residence of Surendra Sethia, the representative of the printing firm.
Chief Editor of ‘Vanguard News’, Sevak Bhattacharjee, claimed they organised the sting operation at different places to expose the VC, who was demanding cash for contracts. “We have more evidence to show against him,” he told the media. Bhattacharjee said the incumbent VC has been indulging in gross malpractices, and his channel was acting as a whistleblower to preserve the dignity and reputation of the university. “We don’t have any personal score to settle with the Vice Chancellor,” he asserted.
Senior High Court advocate Raghunath Mukherjee termed the episode “disgraceful” and said the appropriate authority should immediately take action as per law. “Common argument of conspiracy to defame someone would not stand in this particular case as evidences are very strong,” he said.
NSUI seeks action
A day after Tripura University VC Dharurkar was caught accepting bribe, the Tripura state committee of the NSUI has demanded his arrest. Demanding immediate arrest of the VC, NSUI state president Rakesh Das on Friday said the act by the VC has tarnished the image of Tripura University.
Taking a swipe at Dharurkar, Das said if the authorities don’t take action against him and police don’t arrest him within 48 hours, NSUI will launch massive agitation across the state.
Dharurkar is well-known for his proximity to the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS). His appointment as the VC of a central university was seen as a reward by the Narendra Modi Government. His brother Dilip Dharurkar was appointed the Information Commissioner for Aurangabad Division.