Mangaluru, Sep 11, 2016: A week after a group of 9 students filed a complaint with the college principal accusing 23 students of ragging, 4 female students have made a U-turn and submitted a statement to the police denying any ragging incident in the college. Principal of Srinivas College of Pharmacy, in turn, had filed the complaint against the 23 students on September 3 itself, stating that they had physically abused, tortured and subjected the students to mental harassment.
Based on the principal’s complaint, the police had booked cases against students under IPC Sections 354 (Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 509 (Word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman), 341 (Punishment for wrongful restraint), 506 (Punishment for criminal intimidation) and 323 (Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt) and Section 116 of Karnataka Education Act.
Subsequently, the police arrested one student, a native of Mallapuram in Kerala, on sept 9,Friday. When other students learnt about the incident, they, along with Campus Front of India (CFI) activists, tried to picket the Mangaluru Rural police station. As the students and activists reportedly obstructed them from discharging their duties, the police reportedly caned the students to bring the situation under control and disperse the crowd.
Students’ U-turn : Meanwhile, four out of nine students who had filed the complaint with the principal, met the DCP (Law and Order), stating that the incident of ragging had never taken place in the College and that they had filed the complaint with the principal following pressure from principal and some lecturers.
The students also stated that the principal had misused their complaint and filed a false complaint against the students with the police. When reporters approached City Police Commissioner M Chandra Sekhar, he said that the police had arrested one of the suspects Amin Rinshad on the charges of physical abuse, torture and mental harassment case filed by the Srinivas College of Pharmacy principal on September 3.
Subsequently, the students in association with the activists of CFI reportedly gathered in front of Mangaluru Rural station, where the police had to use mild lathi charge to disperse the crowd. He also said that the activists did not allow the police personnel to enter the station and discharge their duties and manhandled the police personnel. A case has been registered against 25 to 30 persons under IPC Sections 353 (Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 141 (An assembly of five or more persons is designated an unlawful assembly and 149.
Five hospitalised: Quite interestingly, soon after the police resorted to mild lathi charge, two students affiliated to CFI - Ifaz and Muzammil - admitted in Government Wenlock Hospital. On the other hand, three police personnel - SI Sudhakar and two constables, who were reportedly assaulted by the CFI activists, too admitted to the same hospital.
Statement before magistrate: As the FIR was already registered against 23 students and as the four students have made a U-turn, at this juncture, the only available option for the students is to appear before a magistrate and submit their statements. Police are investigating into the veracity of the statement submitted by the four students. Further investigations are on.