JU prof yet to get compensation from govt, mulls legal action

Jadavpur University professor Ambikesh Mahapatra, who is yet to receive compensation from the state as recommended by the West Bengal Human Rights Commission, is likely to take legal action against the government for not complying with the panel's recommendation.

Mahapatra and his neighbour Subrata Sengupta were arrested on April 12 for forwarding an email containing a cartoon of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Mahapatra was granted bail the day after.

The WBHRC took suo motu cognizance of the case and, after a detailed inquiry, recommended on August 13 that compensation of Rs 50,000 be paid to each of them for the "manner in which they were arrested and detained in the thana".

The commission also recommended that a departmental inquiry be initiated against the police officers who lodged the case against Mahapatra and arrested him. However, three months on, no compensation has reached Mahapatra. Neither has a departmental inquiry been started.

Mahapatra said, "I am discussing my case with senior lawyers and we are contemplating a legal step against the state government. I have also written to the WBHRC that we are yet to receive any compensation and we were never contacted by the state government either."

He added, "We have received the summons from the court to appear for the next hearing on February 28. we are now undertrials. The government did not comply with the recommendation."

WBHRC had recommended that the compensation be paid within six weeks.

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