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Kerala student suicide: Report by UGC anti-ragging squad reveals brutal torture and humiliation in the case where leftist SFI members are prime accused

In the case of extreme ragging pushing Sidharthan to suicide, six students affiliated with the Student Federation of India (SFI) were apprehended on 28th February by police after interrogation.

The dead body of 20-year-old student JS Sidharthan, a second-year student pursuing a bachelor’s degree at the College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences in Pookode, Wayanad, was found hanging in the hostel last month in Kerala. Now, details about the severe torture he suffered are revealed in an interim report shared by the UGC anti-ragging squad on Saturday, 9th March.

The report brought to light unsettling information about bullying and ragging that Sidharthan suffered at the hands of other students. Four instructors and two hostel employees were among the 97 people who testified before the inquiry. Meanwhile, the majority of the students chose to remain silent over the matter.

In the case of extreme ragging pushing Sidharthan to suicide, six students affiliated with the Student Federation of India (SFI) were apprehended on 28th February by police after interrogation. The father of the deceased, Jayaprakash also charged the student leaders of the SFI with murder.

The accused have been identified as Billgate Joshua (23) from Sultan Bathery, Abhishek S (23) from Idukki, Dons Daayi (23) from Thodupuzha, Akash SD (22), Rahan Binoy (20) and Sreehari RD (23) from Thiruvananthapuram. A case was previously launched against K. Arun, N. Asif Khan, SFI Unit Secretary Amal Ihsan, K. Akhil, R.S. In addition, an official complaint was also brought against Kashinathan, Amin Akbar Ali, Sinjo Johnson, J Ajay, EK Saud Rizal, A Altaf, V Adityan and M Muhammad Danish.

Sidharthan’s college friends shared with the UGC anti-ragging squad that he was severely beaten by students from other batches who claimed that he was misbehaving with a female from their batch. Eighteen individuals had reportedly teamed up to torture Sidharthan physically and mentally, based on the report findings.

The UGC report quoted a student and highlighted, “He was brutally beaten up with a belt, cable wire and chappal (slipper). He was punched, kicked and then dragged on the floor in front of everyone and the people who were beating him were not ready to stop even after students tried to stop them.” It added, “The victim was withdrawn from the peer group and suffered both physical and mental trauma.”

On 16th February, the miscreants started beating the victim. He was first heavily assaulted on a hilltop close to the veterinary college, then he was thrashed by the same group at various locations. Following that, he was attacked inside hostel room number 21 of the men’s hostel.

Sidharthan was reportedly persecuted to the point of no return by the principal accused, 22-year-old Sinjo Johnson. He had repeatedly punched Sidharthan in the back and stomach. The deceased was stripped and forced to navigate the hostel’s hallways wearing only his underpants. Numerous students reported hearing Sidharthan’s cries. He was also made to pretend that he was sitting on an imaginary chair by the accused. Sidharthan continuously dropped to the ground after being unable to do so. More than 100 students claimed not to know about these incidents, even though the hostel housed 130 students.

The report pointed out that statements obtained throughout the inquiry made it clear that on 16th February, Sidharthan was exposed to a serious physical attack and a public trial which amounted to extreme ragging. The bulk of the hostel’s residents witnessed the attack on Sidharthan.

The committee was especially concerned by the unwillingness of the students to provide complete information. They also concluded that these instances were kept a secret from authorities and family members by students, and responsible office bearers like the Students Union, Hostel Secretary, and Hostel Committee.

Meanwhile, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan suspended the vice-chancellor (V-C) of Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Professor (Dr) M R Saseendranath on 2nd March following Sidharthan’s suicide. The Governor, who is the chancellor of the universities in the state, also forwarded a letter to the High Court seeking a magisterial probe into the death and ragging of the student. 

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
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