Thursday, February 02, 2012

Harassed Presidency University first-year student slashes wrist in hostel

KOLKATA: Political scuffle raised its ugly head on Thursday night at Hindu Hostel, with a harassed first-year student of Presidency University attempting suicide.

Political science student Ajay Dewan of Tripura survived after slashing his wrist in the face of continuous harassment by his seniors. Ajay alleged his tormentors owed allegiance to Students Federation of India (SFI), CPM's student wing.

Trouble was brewing in ward No. 2 of Hindu Hostel, once tagged the home for apolitical students. "When we applied for accommodation, seniors assured us that students lived together in harmony in ward No. 2 and political allegiance wouldn't matter. But on moving in, the scenario turned hostile. We were constantly harassed. SFI students who reside in our wards made fun of Ajay," said his roommate Sumalya Mukhopadhyay, a second-year English honours student.

"Our seniors organized a ward tour to Shankarpur a few weeks back. Since we sympathized with Independents Consolidation, we were tortured and harassed and refused to go. A ward meeting was convened on Thursday. Usually, the agenda is put up on the notice board. But no agenda was mentioned for this meeting. We feared the meeting was called to harass Dewan and two of us who are his friends. Our fears proved right," he said.

'SFI seniors wanted to throw us out'

On Thursday night, English honours student Sumalya Mukhopadhyay alleged, "The meeting began with the SFI hostel residents of the ward accusing us of violating the code of conduct and spreading intra-ward words. They also claimed that we were promoting our political agenda inside the ward, which was once free from politics. A vote of ward boarders on this issue was taken. Since SFI students dominate the ward, a resolution was adopted 40-8 against us."

Sumalya added, "Three SFI seniors then decided that Ajay, me and Nitabjyo Banerjee should be thrown out of the hostel. Though some seniors tried to protect us, the SFI trio was hell-bent on throwing us out. As this torture and abuse was on for weeks, Ajay went outside the room and banged his wrist against a glass door. He was bleeding profusely. We rushed him to Medical College where he received stitches. We have lodged an FIR against the three SFI hostel residents."

When TOI visited Hindu Hostel, Ajay was sleeping on the ground floor with his right wrist bandaged. "The seniors had always harassed us. We refused to go on the ward tour because we feared the seniors would intensify their ragging after consuming alcohol at Shankarpur. Hence we stayed away. The torture has been on for too long and has started to bother me. I found no way out of this menace and thus ended up hurting myself," Ajay said.

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