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Kerala: Initial probe on ragging of a nursing student proves partial facts

Kerala: Three senior students of a nursing college have been arrested in connection with the alleged ragging of a first year Dalit girl student from Kerala who is now being treated at a hospital in her home state for severe damage to her internal organs.

Kalaburugi Superintendent of Police N Shashikumar told PTI that those arrested were identified as Lakshmi, Athera and Vishnupriya. All of them have been sent to judicial custody, he said.

However, a report in the Express newspaper implied that the initial stage of investigation suggests that the girl was probably not asked to consume a chemical in the hostel. As alleged in her complaint, the nursing student said that she was asked to sing and dance by her seniors many times. She was made to drink toilet-cleaning fluid, as she further alleged. She is now battling for life at Kozhikode Medical College hospital, where she was admitted on June 2.

However, it seems that the seniors did not force her to consume a chemical in the hostel, police said exactly to the Express, after doing their initial investigation on the matter.

The details on the case have been taken by the police while interacting and interrogating other nursing students of Al-Qamar College in Gulbarga. Police also interrogated the alleged accused in the case, the five students who have forced-fed phenyl to K P Aswathy. She is an an 18-year-old Dalit student in Kerala.

Based on her statement, police in Kozhikode had registered an FIR on June 22 against five of her seniors.

National Human Rights Commission took cognizance of media reports of the incident and asked the state government and Kozhikode district authorities to file a report on it and action taken.

It issued notices to the Chief Secretary and Director General of Police, Karnataka, as well as the District Collector and Superintendent of Police of Kozhikode, calling for reports on action taken in the matter within four weeks.

It observed that ragging has been banned in educational institutions and guidelines on recommendations of the Raghavan Committee to curb ragging have been issued in this regard.

NHRC said the Apex Court has also referred to ragging as an ugly scar, which needs to be obliterated from educational institutions. The college authorities were legally bound and responsible to ensure protection of students from the menace of ragging, the Commission stated.

A Karnataka police team probing the incident is now in Kozhikode and will visit her tomorrow to record her statement.

Kerala Women’s Commission also wrote to its counterpart in Karnataka, urging it to intervene in the matter.


Source: with inputs from Express and PTI
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