JU ragging death: 12 accused to be booked under POCSO Act
A first-year student of Bengali honours had died after falling from the balcony of a students’ hostel on 10 August
The homicide section of the detective department of Kolkata Police said on Friday that the 12 accused current and former students of Jadavpur University, arrested in connection with the death of a first-year student of the institute in August, will now be booked under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
The first-year student of Bengali honours had died after falling from the balcony of a students’ hostel on 10 August. It is suspected that he was a victim of ragging.
“It has been decided to add sections under the POCSO Act against the 12 accused in view of the fact that the deceased was below 18 years of age, and hence should be considered as a minor,” said a senior Kolkata Police official.
All the 12 accused are currently in judicial custody and will be presented before a lower court in Kolkata on 11 September. The police had initially registered a case under section 302 (punishment for murder) of the Indian Penal Code on the basis of a complaint filed by the victim’s father
The demand for inclusion of provisions under the POCSO Act was first raised by the West Bengal Child Rights Commission (WBCRC) on grounds that the victim was a minor at the time of his death.
The tragic event exposed the state of monitoring and supervision within the JU campus, especially in the students’ hostels where former students not only occupied beds months after passing out of the institute, but also acted as the final authority in accommodation-related administrative matters.
Recently, an internal probe committee of the university had suggested the rustication of four current students from the university for their involvement in ragging.