Monday, 30th October 2017

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Molest cuffs on two JU students

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  • Published 27.09.14

Calcutta, Sept. 26: Two engineering students of Jadavpur University were arrested this evening on the charge of outraging the modesty of a girl on the campus.

The arrests followed four hours of questioning at the police headquarters in Lalbazar, where 16 students had been called.

One of the arrested is a third-year civil engineering student and the other is in the second year of the mechanical engineering course.

“We examined all the 16 students. (Two names) were arrested because we had enough evidence to prove that they were present at the spot and had carried out the crime as alleged in the victim’s complaint,” said joint commissioner (crime) Pallab Kanti Ghosh tonight.

The duo have been booked under Sections of 354 (assault or use of criminal force on a woman with the intent to outrage her modesty), 342 (wrongful confinement), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 114 (abettor present when offence is committed) of the IPC.

Outraging modesty can invite imprisonment for up to five years, if proved in court. The two students will be produced in Alipore court tomorrow. Police sources said more arrests could follow.

The controversial police action in the university last week traces its roots to an agitation by students demanding a fair probe into the molestation complaint.

Some students supported the arrests. Third-year international relations student Nabattoma Pal, who described her comments as her “own individual opinion”, said: “It is a wonderful thing that after a long time the police have started working. They are taking some action. I don’t know if the arrested are the culprits but… the girl had done what she had to and recorded her statement.”

Third-year philosophy student Sudhanya Pal said: “One of our primary demands was that the police should arrest the guilty.”

But some leaders of last week’s protest reserved comment today. “We will comment after discussions,” said Subhabrata Dutta, a post-graduate engineering student.

The complainant had said that she was on her way to the washroom on the night of August 28 inside the JU campus when she was dragged into the boys’ hostel and molested.

Sources said that since the sole name cited in the complaint did not throw up a match with the university list, the police had shortlisted the 16 based on statements gathered from university staff and other students. “If needed, the other 14 students might be re-summoned,” said an officer.

A university official said there was no bar on the arrested students writing exams or attending classes if they were released on bail. Unlike students, employees of the university would have been suspended after 48 hours in custody.

But the official said the arrest could adversely affect the two during campus recruitment.

The girl has lodged a fresh complaint against unknown persons for allegedly maligning her. Police sources said that a web page had named the victim and provided another version of the incident.