Monday, June 30, 2008

[ToI] Kerala boy kin blame ragging for death

23 Jun 2008, 0254 hrs IST,
Ananthakrishnan G ,TNN

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A week after a student allegedly committed suicide at a famous theological seminary in Kerala's Kottayam district, his parents have come out with the claim that the boy was a victim of ragging. The seminary has denied the allegation.

"My son was not the kind of person who would take his life. I strongly believe he was a victim of ragging," Robin John's father C V John told TOI on phone from Kottayam. Robin had joined the Marthoma Theological Seminary on June 2 after a masters degree course in social welfare (MSW) at the Bangalore Garden City College.

"He was a brilliant student and had scored first rank in MSW. It was his desire to become a priest. But a week after joining the seminary, on the night of June 10, we got a call saying Robin had hung himself in his hostel room," said the grief-stricken father, who works in Dubai.

But what made him suspect it was not a suicide? "A day before the incident, Robin called home and said life at the seminary was difficult, but did not elaborate. Also we came to know that there was an incident of ragging in the college two years back and nine students were expelled," said John.

He added that there was one more reason for his doubt. "Robin's room was said to be broken open by inmates of the seminary, his body brought down and taken to the hospital. The explanation given to me was that this was done as they thought he may be alive. But ideally they should have called police," explained John. "Now claims are also being made that my son had some psychiatric problem. But his admission to the seminary itself was after rigorous medical tests at the mission hospital and there were no inconsistencies then."

Kottayam SP Mathew Polycarp said it was a case of suicide. "The post mortem report says Robin committed suicide." he said.

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