| The administrative building of the varsity. Picture by Main Uddin Chisti
Cooch Behar, April 6: The unnatural death of Pallab Biswas, a first-year student of Uttar Banga Krishi Viswavidyalay, on April 1 took a new turn today with his father threatening to go to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) with the claim that his son was a victim of ragging.
Pallab’s body was fished out of the Torsha at Madhupurdham-Hanskhawa, 8 km from the university campus, where he and eight other fellow-students had reportedly gone to bathe.
“I have sent the complaint through courier to the Cooch Behar police superintendent and to the inspector-in-charge of Kotwali police station today. I will personally hand over the complaint to the CID in Calcutta on Monday,” said Pallab’s father, Bibhas Biswas over phone from Calcutta.
Bibhas, a sub-inspector at the Beniapukur police station in Calcutta, added that he has named eight batchmates of Pallab in his complaint.
Pallab’s maternal uncle, Prosen Biswas, who lives in Palasipara in Nadia district, said over phone: “We suspect that those eight boys had planned to murder Pallab. It will be plain once they are interrogated. Pallab was being ragged and the other boys had taken away his mobile phone to prevent him from speaking to his mother.”
He said those boys had even had an argument with Pallab’s mother. “We believe that he was deliberately drowned and later the boys claimed that it was an accident,” Prosen said.
Bibhas said Pallab had called up his mother a few days before his death. “He told her to come over and look for a rented place for him as staying in the hostel was becoming unbearable,” he said.
The sub-inspector added that his son could not have drowned in knee-deep water. “When we went to the spot — where Pallab had drowned — with three of the boys, we found the water level in the Torsha to be very low and the boys, too, failed to explain exactly what had happened,” Bibhas said.
The registrar of the agricultural university, Biman Sarkar, on the other hand, said they have had no complaints of ragging this year. “In 2005, we received a letter from the chief minister’s secretariat after a complaint of ragging was lodged there and since then there has been no cases of ragging here,” he said.
“And the boys under the scanner are in the same year as Pallab, so how does the question of ragging crop up'” the registrar asked.
District superintendent of police Anil Kumar said an investigation is on.