Sunday, August 08, 2010

'Faiz was disturbed over ragging of juniors'

LUCKNOW: What was happening in Guru Gobind Singh Sports College or for that matter with Faiz Alam for the past over a week? Why did he come to his Indiranagar house on July 27 and went back to college after three days on July 30? Was it because of rampant ragging of juniors in the college?

These questions have gained significance as Faiz's body was found outside the college's swimming pool on August 4. His body was spotted by the guard of the college at around 10.30 am that day.

Faiz was actually upset for the last one month or so regarding college affairs, said his elder brother Shahnawaz, who is pursuing a veterinary course at Tanuvas University in Chennai.

"Though Faiz did not tell all these things to mom, at times he did tell me about some issues and dispute among students," he added. "I had been asking him to keep his cool and concentrate on school activities," he said.

Ragging was one issue for which he had been under pressure, claimed Shahnawaz. Elaborating, he said Faiz had told him that he had been protesting against ragging of his juniors since he had suffered because of this when he took admission in 2008. In fact, he even had a dispute with five or six students, including a senior over the same issue, he claimed.

For Shahnawaz, it is beyond his understanding that Faiz would have gone to the swimming pool all alone. Reason: Faiz was actually scared of going near water, leave alone whether he could swim or not.

According to Faiz's family members, he had come to his Indiranagar house on July 27 and looked upset. His mother Shaheen Bano did ask him, but did not get any reply.

Otherwise always smiling, Faiz looked upset and the fact was noticed by his neighbours also. Since he was a very good cricketer of the area, he was quite famous among the neighbours. Besides, of course, he was well-mannered, said his neighbour, Prem Kumar.

He did look upset all those three days when he stayed at the house, he added. "We even discussed it with his mother," Prem added.

Shaheen, an employee with animal husbandry department, then called up his cricket coach Deepak Sharma, who denied anything wrong happening with him in the college, said Shahnawaz.

All efforts to contact the coach proved futile, as the calls made by TOI were not attended by him.

In fact, he asked her to come to the college if she wanted to talk to him, he said.

On July 30, Shaheen went to the college and was assured by the coach that there was no issue and told her to relax. On the evening of the same day, Faiz returned to the college.

However, he came to his house again on July 31, Saturday. He used to come to the house every Saturday and used to go back by Sunday evening, Shahnawaz confirmed.

Faiz though did not tell anything to his mother, he had called up his brother on August 2. According to Shahnawaz, Faiz had told him that everything was not well in the college and seniors were hell bent upon ragging juniors and they wanted him to support them and not to protest against it. However, he was told by Shahnawaz to stay focused on his sports activity and not to indulge in these activities.

"Faiz had also told me that a senior had been suspended on July 26 for this reason only," he added.

Faiz's family members believe that there is some link between his death and the ragging activities in the college. They also are sure that Faiz did not go alone to the pool and someone did accompany him.

The police also believe that someone did accompany him and were trying to find out those who went with him.

DIG Rajeev Krishna said that all angles were being probed and the IO was talking to every individual who was directly or indirectly connected with Faiz.

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