Sumantra with his mother Annahari at the Panagarh health centre. Picture by Gour Sharma
Durgapur, Sept. 5: An engineering student in Burdwan was accused of theft by classmates and allegedly beaten up, his mother too assaulted in front of the hostel superintendent when she demanded an explanation from the assaulters.
Sumantra Das, 19, a second-year electronics and telecommunications student of Aryabhatta Institute of Engineering and Management in Panagarh, was hospitalised with injuries on his forehead and chest.
The four classmates accused Sumantra of stealing a laptop at the hostel last afternoon and beat him up with hockey sticks. They also kicked and punched him.
Sumantra said the accused, against whom a police complaint has been lodged, brought false charges against him. He said Abhijit Das, Indranil Roy, Arindam, Pabitra and some seniors were angry with him because he had refused to obey their orders and smoke ganja and drink liquor in first year.
“Abhijit accused me of stealing his laptop after I returned to the hostel from classes yesterday afternoon. He beat me up with a hockey stick. Indranil, Arindam and Pabitra joined him. I ran to hostel superintendent Ram Pal’s room and complained. But he advised me to settle the matter amicably with my classmates,” said Sumantra, who received preliminary treatment at the Panagarh health centre.
Sumantra called up his mother at their home in Purulia’s Adra, 180km from Panagarh. In the evening, his mother Annahari and elder brother Subhas came to the hostel in a taxi. Sumantra’s father Bishnu, a railway employee, could not come.
“I saw my son wreathing in pain in his room. I asked him who had beaten him up. He told me the names of four of his classmates. I went to their hostel room and asked them why they assaulted my son. They were drunk. They pounced on me and pushed me around. I was aghast to see boys of my son’s age behaving like this with me,” Annahari told officers at Kanksa police station.
She alleged that hostel superintendent Pal was present when she was assaulted. “But he remained a silent spectator and left the room after some time,” Annahari said.
“When my son was in first year, he used to tell me that these four boy and some seniors tried to force him to drink liquor and smoke ganja,” she added.
Annahari said she wanted to withdraw her son from the college. “This place is not safe for him. I want to take him back home. I demand that the college authorities return the fees I paid during Sumantra’s admission,” the mother said.
After Sumantra was discharged from the health centre early this morning, Annahari and Subhas took him back home.
Sumantra said: “Abhijit, Indranil, Arindam and Pabitra are close to the seniors who used to rag me. They were angry with me for protesting against them. I did not steal their laptop. The laptop is with Abhijit only.”
Hostel superintendent Pal refused comment on the allegations.
Pradip Agasti, the chairman of the college, said: “I do not know about the incident. It could be a minor incident.”
Burdwan additional superintendent of police Debasish Sarkar said a probe had been started.