Jadavpur Student’s Death: Child Rights Body Alleged ‘Sexual Assault; Charges Under POCSO Act Recommended

West Bengal Commission of Protection of Child Right’s honorary advisor Ananya Chakraborty coming out after meeting parents of demised student in Ranaghat on Sunday.

Ranaghat, Aug. 13: The first-year Bengali honors student of Jadavpur University who was suspected of having jumped to death late on Wednesday night from the second floor of the hostel was a “minor” and he was “sexually assaulted” before the death.

This was claimed by the West Bengal Commission of Protection of Child Right’s honorary advisor Ananya Chakraborty who is prima facie of the view that the unnatural death of the boy should be dealt with under the provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012.

As per the record made available from the family, the victim boy was born on October 31, 2005. On August 9, the day of death the boy’s age was 17 years 9 months, and 9 days. Chakraborty laments for not having the exact information about the boy’s age.

Chakraborty said several cigarette burn marks were spotted on the body of the demised student who was found dead in a naked state. The shocking revelation came after a team of the Commission led by Chakraborty met the student’s parents in Ranaghat on Sunday morning when she also alleged that those who raised objections against the installation of CCTV at the hostel a few years ago are also “equally” responsible for the death of the student.

“The body was found dead in a naked state and there were several burn marks of cigarette. He also told his brother about being tagged as gay. So this is an incident of sexual assault. Since he did not attain 18 years, this becomes an offence under POCSO Act and we have told police to add the relevant sections of the Act to the case”, Chakraborty told the media persons in Ranaghat.

“But unfortunately we and the media too could not understand this (sexual assault) and we came to know about his age only yesterday…” she told further while urging the media persons and all concerned not to disclose the social identity of the victim any further. “Since we and the media were not aware of his actual age, his identity was disclosed. But as a minor victim of sexual assault, I urge all not to disclose his identity any further”, she added.

She did not disclose details about her interaction with the parents of the victim students. However, she held the Jadavpur University authorities – particularly the concerned officials and professors responsible for the death of the student, as also alleged by his parents.

“We have come to know that there is no CCTV, no register (for entry). It is an unpardonable offence. The mastani, and dadagiri have become a phenomenon for a long at Jadavpur University and a section of students think that they are beyond the law. Such things cannot be allowed to continue anymore”, she reiterated.

Accusing a section of J.U professors and officials for raising objections about the installation of CCTV as recommended by her during a meeting in connection with a probe of the molestation of a girl student at the campus in 2014, “The requirement of CCTV and entry register were mentioned by me during an earlier incident. But the hostel authorities became afraid. The senior students and outsiders rule such a dadagiri in the hostels that everybody remains scared of them. A section of professors raised objection against our proposal for the installation of CCTV”.

“CCTV does not mean moral policing…”, she said while adding rules cannot be different at the JU campus.

“Jadavpur University is not outside Bengal or India. The rules which are in force across the country should also be applicable to Jadavpur. It is not just the three people so far arrested are responsible for the death of the student, rather those raised objections against the installation of CCTV are also equally responsible for the death”, Chakraborty added.

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