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Tripura cops begin hunt for rape accused professor

Victim alleges police under pressure from local BJP leaders, director of engineering institute

Agartala, May 12 (UNI): Tripura police have launched a hunt for an associate professor and head of the electronics and communication engineering department at National Institute of Technology Agartala (NITA) on the charge of raping a middle-aged woman working in the institute.

Police said they have been investigating the complaint against Dr Sambhu Nath Pradhan but could not detain the accused for the last few days. All measures have been taken to restrict his movement and continuous raids are being carried out at his workplace and his local residence but he is absconding, the investigating officer said.

However, the complainant alleged that police were relaxed due to pressure from different corners, including the top leaders of BJP in Tripura and the director of NITA. Allegedly, the chairman of Tripura Commission for Women has also put pressure on the victim to withdraw the complaint and go for mutual settlement.

The victim has also reportedly been getting threats from local rowdies in NITA area under Jirania police station area of eastern Agartala for withdrawing the complaint. The NITA authority has allegedly been shielding the accused and threatening the female staff not to stand with the victim.

According to allegations, Pradhan had developed a relationship with the victim, an unmarried and lower grade employee at NITA about six years ago, promising her to marry.

Both of them have been in a relationship for the last few years and she was physically abused by the accused on several occasions in his quarter, the victim claimed.

Recently, when she had asked him to marry, Pradhan refused and stated that he has family in West Bengal. He offered her financial compensation to mitigate the issue but the victim did not agree. Then she approached police and her statement was recorded after a due medical report.

Meanwhile, police got calls from local BJP leaders not to arrest him.

The victim stated that Pradhan had warned her of dire consequences if she pursued the case, as his family members are BJP leaders in West Bengal and he is also an active member of BJP party. Immediately, after police had started non-cooperating with the victim, she had been getting calls from Tripura Women Commission proposing to settle the case.

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