BERHAMPUR: Former student leaders of on Friday demanded that the vice chancellor go on leave for two months to facilitate a fair probe into the alleged financial irregularities in the university.

The higher education department had on Wednesday asked additional secretary PK Das to inquire into the allegations and submit a report within 60 days.

“The presence of the VC may pose a hindrance to the conduct of a fair inquiry into the alleged irregularities. Therefore, we want the VC to go on leave,” former student leaders including Srinibash Rao, Bhabani Shankar Sahu and Dinesh Mishal told mediapersons.

Earlier, they had urged the chancellor-cum-governor to launch an investigation into the financial irregularities in the university.

Vice chancellor Das said, “We will extend full cooperation to the inquiry committee for further probe into the allegations.” Asked about the demands of the former student leaders, the VC said he would go on leave only if the governor-cum-chancellor of the university asked him to do so.

It may be recalled that a three-member fact-finding committee of the local fund audit (LFA) had audited the financial transactions of the university following a directive of the government in March after the student leaders had blown the lid off alleged irregularities in the university. The LFA director has deputed two employees of the directorate to conduct a special financial audit from 2013-14 till January 30, 2018.

Moreover, financial irregularities like mismatch of over Rs 19.64-crore in the bank account was detected by the then registrar of the university, Sailendra Dwived, when he had taken charge as the controller of finance on January 31. He had appealed the state governor-cum chancellor for conducting special audit of the mismatch of the accounts of the university and to appoint the controller of fiance.

Accordingly, the finance department of the state government had on February 27 asked the director of LFA to conduct an audit under the supervision of a senior-level officer. The LFA has already conducted the audit on the allegations in the month of March, sources said.

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