Sunday, December 12, 2010

Beaten, students attempt suicide

Nov. 19: Two engineering students apparently attempted suicide after being allegedly tortured by seniors, it emerged today.

Satarupa Das, a first-year student of Durgapur’s National Power Training Institute, slit her left wrist on Monday after being allegedly beaten up by three seniors. Ujjwal Kumar, a first-year student of Birbhum’s Mallabhum Institute of Technology, jumped off the second-floor roof of his hostel last night after he was allegedly thrashed by a senior.

In the first case, the three seniors have been asked to vacate the hostel, the disciplinary action coming after Satarupa’s father complained to the institute’s authorities that she had been ragged. But it is still not clear if Ujjwal, who is in hospital in critical condition, had been ragged as no complaint has been lodged so far.

On November 15, final-year BTech students Debalina Haldar, Subhoshree Das and Arpita De had handed Satarupa, 20, a “very tough” questionnaire on power engineering at the hostel. “When she failed to answer some of them, the trio abused her and beat her up with a plastic ruler,” said M. Arunachalam, the principal director of the institute.

“The next morning, Satarupa was found in her hostel room with her left wrist slit. We took her to a nursing home,” Arunachalam said.

A doctor at the nursing home said Satarupa had a deep cut on her wrist. “Some veins and arteries were severely damaged. She was discharged on Wednesday after surgery,” the doctor said.

The girl’s father, Samir Das, lodged a complaint of ragging with the institute’s authorities last evening. Das owns a hosiery shop in Calcutta. “We have received the complaint by the girl’s father. We are looking into it. We have asked the three accused students to vacate the hostel,” Arunachalam said.

Asked why the institute had not yet lodged a police complaint, he said: “Our anti-ragging committee has started an inquiry.”

In Ujjwal’s case, however, the authorities of Mallabhum Institute of Technology said they were not certain whether he had been ragged. But college source said Ujjwal, a computer engineering student, was “suffering from depression” after being “beaten up twice” by third-year student Gaurav Kumar since Tuesday.

Principal Saran Kumar Sanyal said Ujjwal, 18, who hails from Bihar’s Gaya, “was under mental pressure after being constantly threatened by the third-year student”.

“Around 11 last night, the hostel watchman heard a thud. When he rushed to the hostel building, he saw Ujjwal lying in a pool of blood. I think the boy jumped off the hostel roof after dinner,” Sanyal said.

Ujjwal was taken to Bishnupur subdivisional hospital. He has suffered severe head injuries, the principal said.

Sanyal said Ujjwal had been shifted to Mission Hospital in Durgapur. Ujjwal’s uncle Dindayal Kumar said his nephew was still unconscious.

Dibojyoti Das, the subdivisional police officer of Bishnupur, said no complaint had been lodged so far.

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