Molestation case: Bengal governor shows CCTV footage to public; offers no explanation

The mystifying selection of viewers and segments left all comers unsatisfied

On 5 May, West Bengal governor C.V. Ananda Bose had directed all staffers of Raj Bhavan to ignore any communication from the Kolkata Police (photo: IANS)
On 5 May, West Bengal governor C.V. Ananda Bose had directed all staffers of Raj Bhavan to ignore any communication from the Kolkata Police (photo: IANS)


Amid allegations of molestation levelled against him by a woman employee of Raj Bhavan, West Bengal governor C.V. Ananda Bose on Thursday, 9 May, purportedly showed CCTV footage of the premises from 2 May to the public.

Footage from two CCTV cameras positioned at the main (north) gate was shown to a select group of people, including journalists, at the Central Marble Hall on the ground floor of Raj Bhavan. The footage spanned the time from 5.32 p.m. to 6.41 p.m. on 2 May.

A contracted employee of Raj Bhavan had on Friday, 3 May, lodged a written complaint with the Kolkata Police, alleging that she was molested by Bose in Governor House on 24 April and again on 2 May.

However, in the footage shared, Governor Bose was not seen at all.

In the first part of the footage, the woman who filed the complaint was seen going to the police outpost housed within Governor House. Many policemen were deployed on the Raj Bhavan premises at the time for a scheduled visit from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The second bit of footage, which lasted around 10 minutes, showed various vehicles, including fire tenders, arriving at the gate and showed policemen lining up for their regular duties; but the woman could not be seen coming out of the next room.

According to the investigating officers of Kolkata Police, the complainant has alleged that she was molested inside the conference room of Raj Bhavan.

During the entire screening, neither Bose nor any official of Governor House was present. Even after the screening was over, there was no official briefing to clarify the purpose of screening the CCTV footage.

Bose had on Wednesday, 8 May, said he would show the footage to common people, barring "politician" Mamata Banerjee and "her" police.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on 2 May stayed the night at Raj Bhavan before addressing three political rallies in West Bengal on 3 May.

A Raj Bhavan official said, "At least 92 people mailed or called us up, expressing their willingness to see the CCTV footage. However, only a few turned up. The intention was to let people judge the incident."

One of the visitors, who identified himself as Professor Tushar Kanti Mukherjee, said he saw the footage and could not find any abnormality in the behaviour of the woman.

Reacting to the CCTV footage screening, Trinamool Congress leader and state finance minister Chandrima Bhattacharya said, "The governor said he will show CCTV footage to 100 people. Who are those 100? It was seen that some policemen were roaming around outside Raj Bhavan. A woman is seen in the footage. Her face should have been blurred.

"Second, the governor said, the truth will come out. Then he could have shown the events of that time. The footage shown proves nothing."

BJP spokesperson Shamik Bhattacharya said, "The governor will surely take action as per his constitutional responsibilities".

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