| Jagannath De. Picture by Bishwarup Dutta
Calcutta, July 15: A hotel management student who stood up to youths harassing a teenage girl was beaten up and thrown out of a running bus in Salt Lake this evening.
Jagannath De’s six attackers then got off the bus and rained kicks on the 22-year-old as he lay injured and bleeding on the roadside near Karunamoyee, a friend said.
The second-year student of Nalanda Institute of Hotel Management, Salt Lake, was brought with severe head injuries to NRS Hospital, where he kept losing consciousness every now and then.
The Malda boy was returning to his hostel from a training session at ITC Sonar Bangla around 5pm when he saw two fellow bus passengers in their mid-twenties making lewd remarks at a girl.
“I was sitting at the rear of the S9 bus and Jagannath was standing somewhere near the middle,” his classmate Subhendu Roy said. “The other passengers watched silently. But when the two youths touched the girl’s shoulder, Jagannath protested,”
Immediately, four other young men jumped up from their seats, caught Jagannath by his neck and slammed his head against the vertical rod.
“Jagannath punched one of the attackers, but then all six of them began hitting him. I tried to help but I was alone. They threw him out of the running bus,” Roy added.
The driver immediately stopped the bus and the conductor asked the youths to get off to avoid trouble.
“When I tried to get off with them, they pushed me back inside. The bus had by then begun moving again, and by the time I managed to get down, I saw the gang was kicking Jagannath’s limp body,” Roy said.
“He was bleeding from the head and unconscious. I rushed to the spot. The gang threatened me and went away.”
Students from the hostel in BJ Block, Sector II, later arrived at the spot and took Jagannath to hospital.
“I’m proud of him,” institute director Budhaditya Paul said. “He fought back against wrong-doers with no thought for himself. We have informed his father in Malda; he is likely to arrive tomorrow.”
At NRS, Jagannath seemed barely able to speak but the police said his statement had been recorded.
Late at night, doctors said the patient had been discharged and his friends had taken him away. It wasn’t clear if he has been shifted to a private hospital or to his hostel.