Thursday, November 08, 2007

[Hindu] Ragging at Cusat: one more arrested

Police say total number of accused will come to 20

Eight persons identified in case

Six of the accused from Bihar

KOCHI: The Kalamassery police on Wednesday arrested one student from the Cochin University of Science and Technology (Cusat) on the charges of ragging.

The police said Bijin V.J., 20, of Sreekaryam, Thiruvananthapuram, was the ninth accused in the case and was arrested from the Cusat campus.

He was produced before the Aluva Judicial First Class Magistrate – II and released on bail.

Bijin, a sixth semester student of Ship Technology, had made the arrangements for the hotel for the ‘Fresher’s Day’ celebrations, said the police. In all, 21 persons have been accused in the case.

“The students have, however, identified only eight persons, of which six are from Bihar. The other two are from Kozhikode and Palakkad,” said K. Sethuraman, Assistant Commissioner of Police (Thrikkakkara). Since the students were suspended from college, the police could not trace them. “Two teams have been sent to Palakkad and Kozhikode to arrest the accused,” he said.

However, officers at the Kalamassery police station say more students have been identified and the total number of accused in the case would come to nearly 20.
Police initiative

When the city police took up the initiative to curb ragging on campuses a couple of years ago, no major incidents were reported. Still, the police convened meetings of the heads of institutions to discuss about the campaign. This was followed up by a couple of awareness classes

During the meetings with heads of institutions, it was made clear that the police could, according to the Act, initiate proceedings against the head of the institution on the failure to take disciplinary action on receiving complaints of ragging.

The Act also gives the victim the option of approaching the City Police Commissioner directly and initiating action without the complainant’s identity being revealed. Despite this, the police find it hard to collect evidence. “Students are not coming forward against their seniors. We are now planning to run an awareness campaign,” said Mr. Sethuraman.

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