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JU student death: 13 held so far, Union minister says Centre concerned

Police have slapped a case under Section 353 (use of criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) of the IPC against the accused, the state prosecutor said

Jadavpur University

Jadavpur University

Press Trust of India Kolkata

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Thirteen people have so far been arrested in connection with the death of a first-year undergraduate student of Jadavpur University.
On Sunday, a city court remanded a former student of varsity, the 13th arrest in the case, to police custody till August 24.
Police have slapped a case under Section 353 (use of criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) of the IPC against the accused, the state prosecutor told reporters.
The judge at the Alipore Court granted police custody of the accused till August 24 on a prayer by the prosecution for interrogating him.
The prosecution lawyer said the accused, along with others, had allegedly prevented police personnel from speaking to the victim when he was being taken to hospital, and that the gates of the hostel had been forcefully closed to prevent them from entering.
Police had on Friday arrested three current students of the varsity in connection with its probe into the death of the undergraduate student, who was allegedly ragged and sexually harassed, leading to his death after falling from a second-floor balcony of the main hostel building on August 9.
Earlier, nine former and current students of JU were apprehended. All of them are in police custody.
Meanwhile, the newly appointed interim vice-chancellor said the death of the student allegedly following ragging and sexual harassment is the responsibility of the varsity "as a whole" and a proper security arrangement is needed at the campus to maintain a healthy atmosphere.
He described the death of the 17-year-old boy as very unfortunate and heartrending.
"The responsibility is of the whole university and not of any one person... A proper security arrangement has to be made to ensure that a healthy atmosphere is maintained in the university," Sau said.
Admitting that there must have been some lapses, he said, "We will have to ensure that such things do not happen again."

Earlier in the day, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said the death of the JU student was not only unfortunate but a major cause of concern and that he had asked the UGC to take the strictest action as per law in the case.
"I have asked the UGC to take the strictest action as per law," he said.
He asserted that the young student lost his life due to ragging and said whatever steps are required to be taken against the menace as per the rules of the University Grants Commission (UGC) will be taken.
"Questions are being raised whether an anti-ragging cell was there (at the university) and if so, what were its activities, if CCTV cameras were in place or not,... why outsiders were allowed to stay in the hostel," Pradhan said while speaking on the sidelines of a programme here.
Reacting to the Union minister's comments, senior West Bengal minister Arup Biswas said the state administration does not act considering the political beliefs of anyone. "We take action as per law against any offender," he told reporters.
In the evening, the varsity's science faculty dean Professor Subenoy Chakraborty resigned citing personal reasons.
"This is to inform you that I am resigning from the post of Dean, Faculty of Science, Jadavpur University due to some personal reason," he wrote.

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First Published: Aug 20 2023 | 11:26 PM IST

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