How did computers and instruments worth lakhs get stolen from Jadavpur University? Were insiders involved?

Equipment stolen were being used by PG students and PhD researchers, and official records stored in them are forever lost
Image for representational purpose only (Pic: PTI)
Image for representational purpose only (Pic: PTI)

After computers and other pieces of equipment were stolen from the Jadavpur University campus on Wednesday, the teachers have indicated that the perpetrators must have had "inside information about the security measures at Jadavpur University". While the police said that the investigation is still on, the university has confirmed its cooperation in the matter.

While parts of heavy machinery were stolen from the Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering (SMFE) lab, smaller ones were entirely taken away. The machines that were left behind are no longer in working condition. Computers with official records were stolen from the Bengali Department. SMFE comes under the Civil Engineering Department, and the stolen items were all measurement instruments. “Teachers who are visiting the building for official work on Wednesday found that locks in labs were broken,” said General Secretary of Jadavpur University Teachers’ Association, Dr Partha Pratim Ray. “The instruments were being used by PG students, and also by PhD students for research,” Dr Ray told Edexlive.

But this is not the first time that a case of theft has surfaced on campus. The Jadavpur University Teachers’ Association (JUTA) wrote to Dr Suranjan Das, the Vice-Chancellor of the varsity alleging that repeated cases of theft only indicate internal involvement. “Such incidents are not new. I am sure you recall that a few months ago, several instruments were stolen from the same Civil Engineering department...How could such incidents occur if the perpetrators did not possess inside information about the security measures at Jadavpur University?” asked the letter Dr Ray wrote on behalf of the JUTA.

Dr Snehamanju Basu, Registrar of JU, said that the university is cooperating with the investigation and had filed an FIR with the Jadavpur Police Station, “We have reported everything to the police. Police from Lalbazar (Headquarters) also came. The investigation is on and we are cooperating.”

Rashid Munir Khan, the Deputy Commissioner of Police (South Suburban Division) confirmed that the investigation is on. 

"Yesterday, we received a complaint from one professor that two computers and some other articles have been stolen from the department. We have lodged the case. and we are doing our investigation," he said. 

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