Jadavpur University student death row leads to high-level committee formation

Jadavpur University student death case leads to the formation of a high-level committee that will investigate the lapses in the system.

Jadavpur University student death row leads to high-level committee formation

In response to the death of a first-year student in Jadavpur University’s boys’ hostel, West Bengal‘s higher education department has set up a high-level committee to identify the administrative lapses and the infrastructure gaps at Jadavpur University.

Swapnadip Kundu (17) was allegedly tortured and thrown from the second floor of Jadavpur University’s boys’ hostel’s A2 building on the night of Wednesday, August 19th. He died of the injuries sustained due to the fall.

The committee will have a vice-chairperson of the West Bengal State Council of Higher Education (WBSCHE). It will also have a special commissioner (university branch) of the higher education department, a director of public instruction, and a member secretary of the WBSCHE as members.

The member secretary of the higher education council will be the convener of the committee.

“The competent authority has taken a serious note on the unfortunate death of a first-year undergraduate student due to alleged ragging which is under investigation. It has also come to the notice of the state government about certain administrative lapses and the infrastructure gap in Jadavpur University”, an order issued by the higher education department on Thursday, August 17th, stated.

“In order to identify the same and to ensure corrective measures, the department has constituted a fact-finding committee”, it said.

The committee will submit its report to the department within two weeks.

An official of the department told the press that the death of the 17-year-old student of Jadavpur University has exposed the fact that the university had not kept freshers in a hostel where seniors were denied entry.

The anti-ragging norms of the University Grants Commission, issued in 2009, call for the segregation of first-year students in hostels.

“It has come to our notice that the hostel where the deceased student stayed had no CCTV cameras. Police sought footage of CCTV cameras of the hostel to determine whether the first-year student had been ragged. The university could not provide the footage. These are glaring lapses,” the official told the press.

He further added, “If they want financial assistance for building a separate hostel and the installation of CCTV cameras, they can let us know. We would like to know whether the anti-ragging committee is working properly. The student’s death has laid bare systematic flaws which have to be corrected.”

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