Sunday, Aug 13, 2023

Hostel student’s death: Two more Jadavpur Univ students held, state panel seeks POCSO case

Two second-year Jadavpur University students were arrested after discrepancies in their statements, the Kolkata police said.

jadavpur universitySwapnadip Kundu, a resident of Bagula in Nadia district, fell from the second-floor balcony of the main hostel building. (Express photo by Partha Paul)
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Hostel student’s death: Two more Jadavpur Univ students held, state panel seeks POCSO case
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Two students of Kolkata’s Jadavpur University were arrested on Sunday in connection with the death of a 17-year-old student who died on Thursday after a fall from a floor of his hostel.

Speaking to The Indian Express on Sunday, the father of the student who died said he believed his son was murdered, and alleged that seniors in the hostel were responsible for his death. The family has also alleged that the student had been ragged.

Police sources said that while “prima facie there is a ragging angle” in the case, the investigation was still at “a very primary stage” and that it was too early to divulge any more information.

The chairperson of the West Bengal Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Ananya Chakraborty, Sunday visited the house of the dead student, and said a case should be registered under Protection Of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act since the victim had not yet turned 18.

Police registered a murder case on Friday following the family’s complaint. Three people have been arrested in the case so far, including those held on Sunday. Police identified them as Economics student Deepsekhar Dutta (19) from Bankura district and Sociology student Manotosh Ghosh (20) from Hooghly district. On Friday, a man identified as Sourabh Chowdhury, who had completed his Masters in Mathematics in 2022 but was still living at the hostel, had been arrested.

“They were arrested after prolonged interrogation. First, Sourabh Chowdhury was arrested. He was a former student of JU, but used to stay in the hostel. After interrogating him, a few more names cropped up,” a police officer said. Police have got custody of Chowdhury until August 22.

Kolkata Police Commissioner Vineet Goyal said the investigation was being supervised by some of the most senior officials of Kolkata Police. “We are trying to complete the investigation as fast as possible,” he added.


Investigators have so far questioned more than 10 people, including students and members of the faculty, officers said. However, a lack of CCTV footage from the site of the incident has hindered the investigation, officers said, adding that this had made it difficult for them to corroborate the statements of many of those they have questioned.

Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Shankha Subhra Chakraborty said there was no CCTV coverage in most parts of the JU campus.

“There is no CCTV camera in the campus. Even if there are one or two, they don’t work,” he said.


Regarding the case, he said, “It is a case of a student’s death, and allegations are being brought against other students and an ex-student. The matter is certainly sensitive. So, making a remark without solid evidence would be premature and not responsible.”

The father of the dead student told The Indian Express that his son had earlier told the family that he was scared.

“I want those who are behind the death of my son to face hell. He was murdered. He kept telling us that he was not well and was scared, and I should have brought him back home that same day. Senior students at the hostel are responsible for my son’s death. They must have been scared that he would tell us the entire story of ragging if he returned home,” he said.

“My son going to Jadavpur University was like a dream. Ever since he secured a seat there, we have been telling everyone with pride. Little did we know that this is what happens in big universities. Many of my friends and others from my social circle are from JU, so I was very sure that he would be fine. My son was a very decent boy, he was every teacher’s favourite,” the father said.

The state Commission for Protection of Child Rights wrote to Governor C V Anand Bose on Saturday evening regarding the incident. The commission also sought a report on the progress of the investigation.

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Ananya Chakraborty, the chairperson of the commission, said the letter was written to the Governor as chancellor of the university because there was no permanent vice-chancellor at JU currently. The commission’s letter has also been sent to Kolkata Police Commissioner Vineet Goyal.

Regarding the incident, Chakraborty said, “There were cigarette burns found on his body. He himself had called his brother and told him that he was being called ‘gay’. So, it falls under the category of sexual harassment. The boy was not yet 18 years old. So this incident needs to be tried under the POCSO Act.”

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JU student dies after ‘fall from hostel building’, family alleges ragging
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She also questioned why CCTV cameras were not installed in the campus.

First published on: 13-08-2023 at 13:17 IST
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