Saturday, August 25, 2012

Ragging: Cash offered to drop case

When a group of strangers visited them at the Nirmala Hospital late on Thursday night, Noushad and Mehrussna were shocked to hear the price of their daughter’s life. “We will give you 3-4 lakh rupees and you will not pursue a case. Otherwise, it may jeopardize your future,” they said before leaving abruptly. The couple were at the hospital after their daughter Shaniba had been admitted there following a case of alleged ragging in which she was brutally beaten up resulting in serious injuries to her.

The assault took place at JDT Islam IGNOU Community College where she was a first year BCom student. The college authorities later shifted her to Iqraa Hospital which functions under the same management for better care. Noushad says that efforts continued by the perpetrators of the crime to force the family to drop charges but he was determined to fight it out. “There is no way I am settling for anything other than just punishment for those who did this to my daughter,” he says. Five days after the attack, Shaniba is still in serious condition. “She had a kidney condition and undergone a major surgery just two-and-a-half years ago.

It was at the very spot where she underwent a surgery that those boys rammed in a bench repeatedly,” says Noushad. The irony is that it was her desire to study more that led Shaniba to her present condition. She had to stop going to school in her tenth standard because of her condition but was determined to pass the exams. “During my tenth standard, I was able to go to class for just one month. However, with the help of my friends who gave me notes and my teachers who helped me out, I passed SSLC exams with good marks,” said the girl from her hospital bed, mustering up all the energy left in her.

Her condition once again prevented her from being a full-time Plus-1 and Plus-2 student but she joined JDT Islam Community College and passed her final exams with more than 80 per cent marks. It was to the same institution that she went back for her undergraduate studies. “The boys came to rag us and I told them that I was no fresher as I had done my Plus-1 and Plus-2 here. The next time I saw them, I realised they had come to beat me up,” she says.

The college submitted a list of five students who were in the group a day after the incident but Chevayur police say that the students are absconding and cannot be traced. ENS Noushad, a driver by profession, confesses to being not influential enough to exert any political pressure to get the job done. And with each passing day that the accused walk free, one family’s faith in the fairness of the system dies a little.

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