Kolkata: In a case pertaining to death of a first-year undergraduate (UG) student who fell off from the balcony of the varsity's hotel, the police on Friday arrested three more persons. The student's death after he was allegedly ragged and sexually harassed last week has taken the total number of senior students and ex-students apprehended in the case which has hit national headlines to 12. The prestigious 67-year-old university has also sent an exhaustive report to the University Grants Commission (UGC) on multiple queries about the alleged ragging and sexual harassment of the 17-year-old undergraduate student that led to his death, as directed by the statutory body. Registrar Snehamanju Basu told PTI that the university sent a detailed compliance report backed by documentary evidence before the deadline of 12 am on Thursday.
The police said that the three who were arrested during the day are residents of Purba Bardhaman, Nadia and Murshidabad districts. One of them is currently pursuing a PhD course from a private institute and the other one was a post-graduate chemistry student. The third one is a fourth-year computer science student, a police officer said. They were summoned to the Jadavpur police station and questioned during the day. They were arrested as their replies were “incoherent”, he said.
Earlier, nine former and current students of JU were arrested for allegedly ragging and sexually harassing the teenager leading to his death after falling from a second-floor balcony of the main hostel building. They are now in police custody. Meanwhile, senior BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari on Friday said the Jadavpur University campus, where a first-year undergraduate student died last week after being allegedly ragged and sexually harassed by seniors, needs to be freed of “anti-national elements."
Adhikari, who is the leader of the opposition, along with other party MLAs, met the family of the deceased in Nadia district and assured them of all help. "We are with the family and will help them in whichever way they want. What has happened is unfortunate, but the state administration cannot escape responsibility," Adhikari said. He also hit out at the ultra-left student unions at JU, a day after members of one of such organisations, All India Revolutionary Students Federation (AIRSF), and the BJP Yuva Morcha clashed outside the varsity where Adhikari had gone to address a public meeting.
"The anti-national forces need to be ousted from the JU campus. This anarchy cannot be tolerated. What has happened is completely anarchic and unacceptable. Next week when the assembly session resumes, we will force Education Minister Bratya Basu to table the action taken report in the assembly," the BJP leader said.
Adhikari on Friday lodged a police complaint alleging a "premeditated attack" on him by the AIRSF workers accusing them of being a part of a group that made JU “a den of anti-national and anti-social activities”. “They harbour anti-establishment and secessionist ideologies: who are always criticizing the government, but at the same time clinging on to the institution, even after their formal association is over, to keep on enjoying the subsidised benefits meant for the students," he said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.
Adhikari, who enjoys Z category security, alleged in the complaint that he was suddenly attacked by seven-eight people as he was leaving the venue. "Though I do not know their names but I will be able to identify them if they are brought before me," he said.
BJP Yuva Morcha (BJYM) workers blocked the arterial S C Mallick Road for half an hour near the varsity in protest against the dismantling of their podium by Kolkata Police on Friday. They were on a dharna since August 16 against the alleged incident of ragging leading to the death of the student.
BJP South Kolkata district President Sanghamitra Chaudhuri told PTI that the police tried to dismantle the stage at the behest of the ruling TMC despite the BJYM having taken prior permission for it. On the face of protest by BJYM, police relented and the saffron camp members again climbed the podium.
The demonstration will continue till August 19. The CPI(M)'s student wing SFI also demonstrated before the Jadavpur police station, affecting traffic movement on Friday evening, demanding arrest of the BJYM members who allegedly beat up RSF activists.
"Though none of those beaten up belong to SFI, they are students fighting against the attempt to take over JU by BJP," Subhadip, a spokesperson of the agitators, told PTI. "We also demand a speedy investigation into the death of the fresher, arrest of all those involved, an immediate end to the practice of ragging," he said. The deceased, who was a resident of Bagula in Nadia district, was a first-year undergraduate student of Bengali Honours. He fell around 11.45 pm on August 9 and died while undergoing treatment at a hospital the next day.