West Bengal governor airs CCTV clip for public, shows complainant’s face while trying to clear his name | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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West Bengal governor airs CCTV clip for public, shows complainant’s face while trying to clear his name

By, Kolkata
May 10, 2024 01:49 AM IST

The audience was shown 69 minutes of footage from two CCTV cameras installed at the North Gate of Raj Bhavan.

A crowd of 50-odd people gathered in a dark room in the revered halls of Raj Bhavan in Kolkata for an unusual screening on Thursday. West Bengal governor CV Ananda Bose was about to broadcast footage of May 2, the day a temporary employee in his office accused him of sexual assault, as part of an exercise meant to clear his name. To be sure, Bose was not present in the hall at the time of the screening but he was present within the premises of Raj Bhavan.

West Bengal governor CV Ananda Bose was not present in the hall at the time of the screening but he was present within the premises of Raj Bhavan (PTI)
West Bengal governor CV Ananda Bose was not present in the hall at the time of the screening but he was present within the premises of Raj Bhavan (PTI)

The audience was shown 69 minutes of footage from two CCTV cameras installed at the North Gate of Raj Bhavan. There was little action in the footage, which largely showed around 30 to 40 police personnel in white uniforms milling about the complex’s burly iron gates.

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However, for a few split seconds, the video showed the complainant – her face unblurred – leaving Raj Bhavan main building and speaking to the police personnel posted inside the compound near the North Gate.

The screening, meant to clear his name, has now plunged Bose into a fresh controversy, with the woman accusing him of revealing her identity.

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“By doing this he has not just insulted me but my family,” she said told the media.

Till the filing of this report, the Raj Bhavan didn’t make any statement.The woman has accused Bose of molesting her on two occasions. The police haven’t registered a first information report (FIR) as it is beyond their jurisdiction.

Hours after the allegations were raised, the governor had denied the charges in a statement issued around 9.20 pm on May 2.

“Truth shall triumph. I refuse to be cowed down by engineered narratives. If anybody wants some election benefits by maligning me, God Bless them. But they cannot stop my fight against corruption and violence in Bengal….,” the statement had said.

To be sure, Article 361 of the Constitution prevents any criminal action against an incumbent governor or the President, and no FIR has been registered in the case. The police have, however, said that they have sought CCTV footage from Raj Bhavan and planned to speak to office staff.

Bose had announced on Wednesday that he would release footage of May 2 and, on Thursday, air it inside the Raj Bhavan premises for the first 100 people who requested through email to see it. HT sent an email on Wednesday evening, and this reporter was invited to be present in Raj Bhavan on Thursday.

Around 50 people, most of whom were media personnel and Raj Bhavan staff, turned up for the hurriedly arranged screening.

The footage was beamed from a small projector onto a projection screen installed in Marble Hall on the ground floor in Raj Bhavan.

The footage began at 5:32 pm of May 2, according to the time stamp. At around 5.33pm, a woman, ostensibly the complainant, was seen emerging from outside the frame, approaching police personnel, and then walking to the police outpost near the North Gate of Raj Bhavan.The woman was still inside the police outpost when the footage ended.

Though senior police officers said they had not received any footage, the victim slammed the governor for airing it.

“The CCTV videos show that I approached the police at the North Gate. This is laughable. Even if the CCTV image of the ground floor was released, it would show that I am crying. I am a common citizen and he is the governor. He should allow the police to probe,” the complainant said on Thursday.

“If he was innocent, he would have allowed a police investigation. I am ready to face any kind of test such as a lie-detector,” she said.

The Trinamool Congress said the governor had shared “irrelevant footage”.

“West Bengal has a population of more than 100 million. The footage was shared with only 100. But he has refused to share it with the police. The CCTV footage showed that the woman approached the police at the North Gate. How relevant is this? She has already said that she approached the police who helped her to lodge the complaint,” said state finance minister Chandrima Bhattacharya.

The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) refused to comment on the matter.

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