A first-year student of Jadavpur University in Kolkata died after allegedly falling from the second-floor balcony of the main hostel, police said on Thursday.
Swapnadip Kundu (18), a resident of Bagula in Nadia district, was an undergraduate student of Bengali (honours). He allegedly fell from a hostel building around 11.45 pm on Wednesday, they said.
“He received multiple injuries and died at 4.30 am during treatment at the KPC Medical College,” a police official said.
Governor CV Ananda Bose, who is also the Chancellor of the university, visited the hostel and assured Swapnadip’s father of stern action against those responsible for his son’s death.
Classes for the first year began a couple of days back, as another student of that year alleged that ragging by a few seniors was behind his friend’s death.
Initial probe revealed that the student was bullied allegedly by some senior boarders of the hostel, the police officer said adding that he called up his mother at around 9 PM on Wednesday and expressed his fear “about something”.
“His phone got switched off later. We are looking into his call list to find out whether he spoke to anyone else after that or not,” the officer said, adding that they have examined the mobile phones of his roommates.
The police are waiting for the post-mortem examination report.
“It seems that the boy was in mental distress after seniors started terming him gay. There are witnesses when he started showing discomfort regarding this. He called up his mother at least four times on Wednesday and also deactivated his Facebook account in the evening,” the officer told PTI.
JU Registrar Snehamanju Basu said in a communique to the Jadavpur police station said the said student was found on the road in front of the main hostel within the campus in unconscious and wounded condition “at 11 pm” and “despite every step taken for immediate and best possible treatment for him, he died at 6 am today.” On the allegation of Swapnodip’s father that his son is a victim of ragging, the police officer said that they were talking to the in-charge of the hostel and also the students who have recently started staying there.
Meanwhile, another first-year student of Jadavpur University alleged in a Facebook post that ragging by “a few seniors” was behind the death of his friend Swapnodeep.
“My name is Arpan Majhi. I am a first-year student at Jadavpur University. My family is economically backward and I grew up in Asansol. Naturally, I applied for a hostel during admission. Spending two to three nights at the hostel was quite tormenting to me and because of that, I have started looking for a mess despite facing great difficulty, even if I have to take a loan,” he said in that post.
Referring to the ragging by a section of the senior boarders at the hostel, Majhi said, “I have heard many stories about the main hostel. Stories of them helping flood victims, standing by the side of helpless people during the Covid-19 pandemic. I believe most of the seniors in the main hostel carry this fighting tradition. But for a few of them, I lost my classmate,” he alleged.
The JU chapter of the All Bengal University Teachers’ Association (ABUTA) alleged that the varsity authorities did not take any steps to stop ragging despite knowing about this practice.
Jadavpur University Teachers Association (JUTA) Secretary Partha Pratim Roy called for keeping new students in a separate hostel as per UGC rules and immediately driving out former students who had been living in the hostel illegally.
“We demand exemplary punishment for those responsible for his fate,” Roy said.
A spokesperson of the varsity’s Arts Faculty Students Union said, “We want a full probe into the incident and punishment for the guilty. We stand by the family of the victim. We also want that allegations of physical torture of freshers are not raised again.” In the evening, Governor Bose paid a visit to the hostel and spoke to the boarders to understand how the incident took place.
He also spoke to the father of the victim and assured him of “stern action” against those who were responsible for the death.
Meanwhile, Swapnadip’s maternal uncle in a letter to the Registrar demanded a “proper, full-fledged inquiry into the incident”.
Registrar Basu said the letter from the maternal uncle has been referred to the internal inquiry committee meeting of the university.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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