n a significant turn of events, a complainant in a two-year-old case of alleged corruption in North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU) was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) as accused, it was revealed today.
The case in question relates to a complaint made by a NEHU PhD student, Raghuvendra Pratap Tripathi, in 2018 against Assistant Professor Dr Dinesh Bhatia, then the Head of the Department of Biomedical Engineering of NEHU.
Tripathi was conducting research for a government-sponsored project on pacemakers under the Assistant Professor. He alleged that Dr Bhatia had pressured him into taking part in corruption and threatening to cancel the former’s fellowship and debar him from doing his PhD if he did not cooperate.
According to the CBI, Dr Bhatia allegedly embezzled government funds by using fake bills in the name of a Uttar Pradesh supplier, who would then transfer the proceeds of this illegal activity to Tripathi’s bank account. Tripathi would then hand over the money to Bhatia in cash.
Advocate M.Haque who is representing Dr Bhatia told the Highland Post that this is “a significant turn of events that the CBI has made the complainant Raghuvendra Pratap Tripathi an accused.” He said that Tripathi is the same person whose written complaint had led to registration of a corruption case against Dr. Bhatia.
He said that Dr Bhatia, Tripathi and one other accused were all meant to appear in court today after a charge sheet was filed. However, only Dr Bhatia was present. It is reported that the special CBI court took serious note of the others’ absence from the proceedings.
Dr Bhatia is a recipient of several awards, such as the International Young Biomedical Scientist, awarded by the Indian Council of Medical Research, in 2014-15; BOYSCAST, awarded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), in 2011-12; and the INAE Fellowship by the Indian National Academy of Engineering (INAE), in 2011. He denies the charges leveled against him and has been trying to clear his name for the last two years.