Thursday, September 12, 2013

Ragged by seniors, student jumps in front of train

 MUMBAI: A second-year student of a Navi Mumbai college killed himself on Friday by jumping in front of a local train, allegedly because he was being ragged by two of his fellow students for the past several months. The victim, 19-year-old Nitin Balu Padalkar, left a suicide note in which he named the two students for harassing him.

 The Government Railway Police (GRP) in Kalyan said they will question the two students named in the suicide note on Monday when the college reopens. A case of unnatural death under Section 174 of Criminal Procedure Code has been registered though they said preliminary inquiries suggest it was a case of ragging. Nitin was a second-year student of electronics and telecommunications in the Ramrao Adik Institute of Technology, which is affiliated to the University of Mumbai and is part of the D Y Patil Group.

College officials could not be contacted despite repeated attempts. The state government and the university have called for reports on the incident. Nitin, who killed himself a day after his second-year final exams began, lived with his father Balu, who works as a labourer, mother Kamal and younger sister Nisha in the Kolsewadi area of Kalyan (East).

 Ragging is a crime under the Maharashtra Prohibition of Ragging Act, 1999, and institutes are supposed to have strict mechanisms to stop it. "The government will check if a mechanism to halt ragging as suggested by the Centre and the Raghavan committee was in place in the institution," said a bureaucrat in the higher and technical education department. Nitin was found on the tracks by motormen at 8.10pm on Friday, who alerted the Vithalwadi stationmaster.

The GRP officials were rushed to the spot and the victim was taken to Rukminibai Hospital in Kalyan, but doctors declared him dead on arrival. The victim's family corroborated the details in the suicide note saying Nitin had been depressed because of the harassment meted out to him by the students mentioned in the note. "As my brother was good in studies, two of his classmates had been ragging him since October. They harassed him over petty issues," Nitin's younger sister Nisha told TOI.

 She added, "Over the past four days, my brother had been very depressed about the continuous harassment and could not concentrate on his studies. Seeing my brother upset, even my mother wanted to complain about the harassment to college authorities, but Nitin told her not to do so because the two students would then tease him for being the boy who brought his mother to complain."

 On Friday, Nitin had left the house around 6pm telling his parents that he was going to meet a friend in the Chinchpada area, but he never returned. The family received a call from police at 8.50pm informing them of Nitin's death. S G Nirmal, Kalyan GRP police inspector said, "Preliminary investigations show it is ragging, as Nitin was depressed over the harassment by two fellow students. On the basis of the suicide note, we will question both the students once college starts on Monday. If needed, we will invoke the anti-ragging Act."

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