Accused in Jadavpur University student death case to be booked under Pocso: Cops
On July 9, a 17-year-old student jumped to death from the second floor of the university’s main hostel after he was allegedly ragged and sexually harassed
All 12 former and current students of Jadavpur University, who were arrested in connection with the ragging and death of a fresher in the university’s hostel last month, will be booked under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act, police said.
Kolkata Police said that they have sought the permission of a city court to add charges under the Pocso Act.
“We have prayed for adding section 12 (punishment for sexual harassment against a child) under the Pocso Act,” said a senior IPS officer attached to the probe.
On July 9, a 17-year-old student jumped to death from the second floor of the university’s main hostel after he was allegedly ragged and sexually harassed.
Initially, police registered a murder case under section 302 of the Indian Penal Code on the basis of a complaint filed by the victim’s father following which 12 persons, including current and former students of the university, were arrested. Later section 4 of the West Bengal Prohibition of Ragging in Educational Institutions Act was added.
HT had reported that the police were probing whether the student was sexually harassed as he was found lying naked in a pool of blood.
“Investigations later revealed that the student was stripped, paraded naked and forced to lie face-down,” said an officer.
Both the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights and the West Bengal Commission for Protection of Child Rights had pulled up Jadavpur University authorities for not flouting the guidelines of the Supreme Court and the University Grants Commission (UGC) on ragging.
In all 13 persons have been arrested till date. While 12 were charged with murder and ragging and are now in custody, one former student was arrested on charges of obstructing the police from entering the campus that night. He was later released on bail.
Moreover, the state government has set up a four-member fact-finding committee to look into the administrative lapses and infrastructure gaps in the university while Governor CV Ananda Bose has set up a panel headed by the former chief justice of the Karnataka high court Subhro Kamal Mukherjee to look into the issue and recommend steps to end ragging and violence on the campus.
On Tuesday, a two-member team of the Indian Space Research Organization also visited the JU campus following a request by the governor to seek help to curb ragging incidents in colleges across the state.