Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Teen falls from hostel building, dies, parents allege ragging

A 19-year-old BTech first-year student at SRM University’s NCR campus in Modi Nagar fell from the fourth floor of his college hostel building late on Sunday night. On Monday evening, he succumbed to injuries. Although his family members alleged he was pushed down from the building by seniors who were ragging him, university authorities and his classmates called it an accident.
Abhishek Sahai, son of an engineer working for a private firm in Ranchi, joined the hostel a week back and had gone to the top floor of the under-construction building of his hostel at around 9.30 pm on Sunday from where he mysteriously fell 45 feet between the two campus blocks, police said.

Sahai was immediately rushed to a private hospital in Ghaziabad and thereafter referred to Fortis hospital in Noida where he died.

“His spinal cord broke from three places. He had suffered brain haemorrhage,” said a family member.

The victim's brother-in-law Piyush Kumar and his uncle Praful Kumar told Hindustan Times that the incident was a result of ragging at the college. “His brother had come to Delhi and wanted to meet him. But he sent a text message on August 14 stating that ragging was going on. He also posted status update on facebook about ragging,” Piyush Kumar told Hindustan Times.

However, the university denied ragging was behind the incident.

“This is just an accident and no ragging has ever taken place in our campus. The boy was talking over his phone and went to the under-construction top-floor from where he accidentally fell down,” dean Manoj Pandey told HT.

College officials also said the under-construction top-floor was completely blocked and no entry was allowed.

Abhishek's Facebook account ID mentioned: “Ragging is on, maza aa raha hai (we are having fun).” Family members said that there were no incoming or outgoing calls on the victim's mobile phone in a span of two hours before the incident.

The victim's roommates — Razi Ahmed and A. Ishwar — told HT at SRM campus that five boys, including the victim, had been cracking jokes in the front room when he went out. “After 15-20 minutes, we heard that he had fallen down,” said the boys. “There was no ragging.”

Following the incident, the SRM-University officials suspended classes for around a week and students were asked to leave. Superintendent of Police (SP) Capt. M.M. Baig said that police investigations will start as soon as the FIR is lodged at Niwari police station. “Family is free to lodge an FIR into the case and the matter would also be investigated thoroughly for any ragging incident,” Baig said.

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