‘Fresher who died singled out for severe ragging’: Jadavpur varsity probe panel

‘Fresher who died singled out for severe ragging’: Jadavpur varsity probe panel

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  • September 18, 2023
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The inquiry committee of Jadavpur University constituted to probe into the circumstances leading to the death of a fresher has submitted its report to the authorities concluding that the victim was singled out for severe pre-planned ragging, which included possible sexual abuse, PTI reported.

The committee said there are two possibilities for his death – “a case of abetted incident and a case of homicide,” the report said.

The 17-year-old fresher, resident of Nadia district died, fell from the second-floor balcony of his hostel on August 9 allegedly during ragging by seniors who were staying in the facility illegally. The victim died in a hospital the next day.

The inquiry committee, however, could not conclusively say in its report the reasons behind the “tragic fall” of the student which led to his death.

A total of 13 men, all former or current students, who were boarders of the hostel, were arrested in connection with the case.

“As it seems, he (the victim) was singled out for ragging, which was carried out in a systematic planned manner, having deliberately isolating him for severe ragging, while the rest of his batch-mates were far from him attending a hostel general body meeting,” the PTI quoted the inquiry panel report.

It stated that the first-year undergraduate student of the Bengali department was ragged in phases on that evening, the report added.

At around 6.30 pm, the victim was taken to a room along with 6-7 other freshers by one of the main accused where they were forced to shout “highly objectionable, sexist, and abusive” words towards the female residents of the adjacent police quarters. After being compelled to follow the commands, he burst into tears.

The report said during the next session of ragging, between 9 pm and 10.45 pm, the victim was forced to put his signature in a complaint letter addressed to the Dean of Student, allegedly drafted by seniors, against a day scholar of the Department of Bangla, in presence of nearly 12-15 boarders.

“After this…, the freshers, except the boy, were asked to attend an all hostellers General Body (GB) meeting which was held at the playground adjacent to A1 block at around 11 pm,” the report said.

During the GB meeting, the boy was seen standing in the lobby of the second floor along with two boarders, one of those who deposed before the panel said.

Those who deposed reported to the inquiry committee that there was a loud cry (for help) by someone from the second floor of the A-2 block at past 11.30 pm. One of them who rushed to the spot after hearing the cry reported to have seen the boy running naked, and when he was trying to enter a room, two-three seniors pulled him out.

The boy reportedly again started running desperately along the corridor of the 2nd floor A-2 block, the report added.

“Information regarding the subsequent movements, just prior to his fatal fall, is rather uncertain and vague, as none of the witnesses gave a clear-cut description of the incident, which could help in ascertaining the cause and sequence of the mishap.” The committee is of the view that the minor was “severely abused sexually too”, the report said.

“A large number of them found the victim lying on the road adjacent to the A-2 block in a naked condition in supine position. At that time the victim was found profusely bleeding from nostrils, ears and mouth and possibly from the back of the head,” it said.

The report further said the students covered the lower body part of the victim with a ‘gamchha’ (traditional cotton towel) and took him to a hospital where he died.

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Updated: 18 Sep 2023, 07:41 PM IST

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