JADAVPUR UNIVERSITY (JU) has asked all first-year male boarders of the main hostel to temporarily shift to a new facility after an 18-year-old Bengali Honours undergraduate student died after falling from a balcony of the building.
The student, Swapnadeep Kundu (18), fell from a balcony at the main hostel building Wednesday night and died while undergoing treatment at a hospital the next morning, according to the police.
A fellow first-year student alleged that the death was caused by ragging by a few hostel seniors. Initial probe revealed that the student was bullied allegedly by some senior boarders of the hostel, police said.
Governor C V Ananda Bose, who is chancellor of the university, visited the hostel and assured the student’s father of stern action against those responsible for the death.“It seems that the student was mentally distressed after seniors bullied him. He called up his mother at least four times on Wednesday and deactivated his Facebook account in the evening,” said a police officer.“As directed, all undergraduate first year students for the session 2023-24 allotted to A-1 and A-2 blocks of the main hostel are instructed to shift temporarily to the new boys’ hostel within today itself,” read a JU notification issued on Thursday.
“It is further notified that no passed-out students as well as outsiders are allowed to stay in the hostels with immediate effect. Hostel superintendents are requested to send the names of such students or outsiders, as the case maybe, who does not comply, it added.
The incident triggered a political row, with BJP state president Sukanta Majumdar blaming the state administration for its alleged failure to bring in “true governance” in the education sector, drawing a sharp rebuttal from Education Minister Bratya Basu who asked the opposition party not to politicise the matter.
Basu, in a social media post, said, “A loss of a promising flower nipped at its bud is a great loss of Bengal and her society.” “I also strongly deplore such heinous acts…” he said, alluding to allegations that Kundu died after being ragged by hostel seniors.
Majumdar, on the other hand, alleged that the incident showed that the West Bengal government has failed to establish “true governance” in the education sector.
“@MamataOfficial has failed to eradicate a heinous crime like ragging… Shame on WB government… My deepest condolences with the family…” he posted on X.
In another post in Bengali, the senior BJP leader said, “Without abetment by the administration, student organisations like TMCP, SFI, DSF cannot carry on crimes like ragging on university campus… I promise every kind of legal help to his family.”
In a sharp rebuttal, Basu claimed that the BJP was finding fault with the state government in every unfortunate occurrence. Right wing students’ body ABVP demonstrated outside one of the four main gates of JU demanding “justice” and an end to “the inhuman practice of ragging,” in future.
The ABVP also blamed the CPI(M) students’ wing alleging it had never reined in the ‘tormentor’ senior hostel inmates and showed intent to stop ragging.
SFI controlled AFSU on Thursday condemned the incident and said a thorough probe was needed into the chain of events leading to the boy’s fall. Trinamool Congress Chhatra Parishad also held a meeting on the campus expressing shock over the death of the student.