Freshers to move to separate hostel at JU after student’s fall to death
An 18-year-old first-year student fell to death from the second-floor balcony of the university’s main hostel on Wednesday even as his parents and a section of professors and students alleged ragging
Kolkata’s Jadavpur University (JU) authorities have asked freshers to move to a separate hostel while ensuring no ex-students and outsiders are allowed to stay at its main hostel after an 18-year-old first-year student fell to death from its second-floor balcony on Wednesday. The student’s parents and a section of professors and students alleged he was ragged.
“All undergraduate first-year students have been instructed to temporarily shift to the New Boys Hostel. No ex-students as well as outsiders would be allowed to stay in the hostel. Hostel superintendents have been asked to send names of ex-students and outsiders who do not comply,” said a JU official, requesting anonymity.
Allegations about former students and outsiders regularly staying at the main hostel and harassing freshers surfaced following the student’s death. The main hostel is outside the university campus.
Jadavpur University Teachers’ Association (JUTA) on Thursday called for separate hostel facilities for freshers as per University Grants Commission guidelines. “Ex-students, who are staying in the hostel illegally, should be ousted and actions be initiated against them,” JUTA said in a statement.
Police were probing the death even as an officer said they were yet to receive a formal complaint. “Investigation is on. After we receive a formal complaint from the family, we can register a First Information Report,” said the officer.
The student’s parents told journalists that he was afraid. He was found undressed and his body bore injury marks. “My son called last night and spoke to his mother. He was very afraid and was under tremendous pressure. He begged me and his mother to come. It was clear that he was being tortured,” the student’s father told journalists.
A seven-member JU committee and governor CV Ananda Bose, who is the chancellor of the state university, separately visited the hostel. Bose met student representatives and faculty members.
JU joint registrar Sanjay Gopal Sarkar promised to do everything possible. “The process may take some time. Police have started their probe. An internal probe committee has been set up to find out what happened. He informed his parents but never informed us. Had the information reached us we could have acted.”
JU was rated Bengal’s best university in the National Institutional Ranking Framework 2023. It bagged the fourth position nationally among universities for the second year after the Indian Institute of Science (Bengaluru), Jawaharlal Nehru University, and Jamia Millia Islamia.