Kozhikode: Agali police on Wednesday took former SFI leader K Vidya into custody in connection with the forging of an experience certificate from Ernakulam's Maharaja's College to apply for teaching jobs.
She was taken into custody at Meppayur in Kozhikode, on the 16th day of filing a case against her.
Interestingly, Vidya was nabbed by the police on the day another SFI leader accused in a fake certificate case, Nikhil Thomas, had gone under the radar. Vidya had moved the court seeking anticipatory bail in the case registered by the Nileshwar police in Kasaragod. The case will come up for hearing on June 24.
Vidya has been booked under non-bailable sections based on complaints filed by the principals of Attappadi Government College, Palakkad, and Karinthalam Arts and Science College in Neeleswaram near Kasaragod, accusing her of appearing for an interview for the post of guest lecturer using fake documents.
Ernakulam Central police too registered a similar case against Vidya based on a complaint filed by Maharaja's College.
Later irregularities came to light in Vidya's PhD admission at the Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit, Kalady. It was accused that she misinterpreted a Kerala High Court verdict to gain admission.
The case was initially taken up by the Ernakulam Central police on June 6, who then handed it over to Agali police in Palakkad.
Vidya has been charged under IPC Sections 465 (forgery), 468 (committing forgery for the purpose of cheating) and 471 (using forged document as genuine).
The charge is that Vidya had landed a job at Government Arts and Science College in Kasaragod's Karinthalam producing a certificate that showed that she was a guest lecturer of Malayalam at Maharaja’s College, Kochi, for 20 months between 2018-2019 and 2020-2021. She then taught at the Karinthalam college from June 2022 to March 2023.
Vidya used the same certificate to secure a second posting as guest lecturer, this time at Rajiv Gandhi Memorial Government College at Palakkad's Attapadi.
The certificate was sent for verification when one of the teachers at the Agali college, who was a Maharaja's alumni, smelled something fishy.
Maharaja's College quickly reported back that it had not hired a guest lecturer since 2013. The college then filed a police complaint with the Ernakulam Central Station. Rajiv Gandhi College, too, filed a case at Agali police station.
When reports of the forgery broke out, the Karinthalam college, too, sent the experience certificate Vidya had submitted to Maharaja's College for verification. Once the forgery was officially confirmed, the Karinthalam college also filed a complaint against Vidya.
The failure of the police to trace Vidya had given rise to speculation that she had government protection. Any further delay in taking Vidya into custody, however, would have been counterproductive.
In fact, the Agali police had initially attempted to mislead the public. The police had claimed that it was virtually impossible to retrieve the CCTV visuals from the Rajiv Gandhi College.
This was seen as a deliberate attempt to protect Vidya as it was said that crucial evidence, especially the identities of those who had colluded with Vidya, could have been culled out from the CCTV visuals.
The police did not even ask for the CCTV footage saying it would be hard to retrieve. But the College authorities had publicly contradicted the police.
The police inaction had given clear hints of political influence in the case. This passive stance of the police looked especially striking when seen alongside the alacrity with which the police registered cases against those, including a journalist, mentioned in a conspiracy complaint filed by SFI state secretary P M Arsho.
Nonetheless, in public, the CPM had distanced itself from Vidya.
CPM state secretary M V Govindan, while backing SFI state secretary P M Arsho, had virtually disowned Vidya. He said that the police would take necessary action against Vidya. Higher education minister R Bindu publicly stated that Vidya was guilty of forgery.