Kerala ragging row: They made us strip and do all sorts of antics for 6 hours, says victim
OS Avinash, the 22-year-old from a Kerala polytechnic college, who is admitted in a hospital in Thrissur, recounts the ragging horror, where seniors harassed and humiliated him
OS Avinash (22) recuperates in Thrissur’s Mother hospital
“We pleaded with them to let us go, but they kept harassing us. I try to forget the incident, but I am not able to,” OS Avinash (22) told mid-day from Mother hospital in Thrissur.
Avinash was amongst the eight juniors who were ragged by senior students at Government Polytechnic College in Nattakom, Kottayam, on December 2. “I am told that the Kerala government will consider my request of shifting me to Maharaja’s Technological Institute in Thrissur. I don’t want to go back to the hostel where I was harassed and humiliated,” he said, adding that the seniors had threatened to kill them all if they told anyone what had happened or returned to the hostel.
Horror at night
Recalling the fateful evening, Avinash said the seniors came to them during dinner and told them all to stay back, saying they were being taken for a movie. “Usually on Friday evening, I leave for my home in Thrissur, but that night I stayed back. “We got ready to leave when some seniors told us that the two who had gone to get the tickets had met with an accident. We were asked to assemble in room no. 114,” he said.
“Around 9 pm, we were called to room no. 113. After the eight of us were in, they told us to undress. We were then asked to do push-ups and sit-ups, crawl and swim on the floor till 3 am. “There was no security guard at the hostel at night, and the premises is anyway in an isolated place; hence, no help reached us,” Avinash said. Around 3 am, the semi-conscious juniors were taken to the bathroom, made to stand one leg for a while and then sent to their rooms. When asked if the entire act had been recorded on mobile phones, Avinash replied in the affirmative. “On returning to our rooms, within minutes, the seniors barged in and forced us to drink alcohol. I fell unconscious after the second glass.”
Battling an infection
Senior nephrologist Dr PM Jairaj said, “We diagnosed him with rhabdomyolysis (a condition due to a direct or indirect muscle injury, which can lead to renal failure). This happens when the body is not used to sudden exertion, and the muscles break and release myoglobin into the bloodstream.”
While his condition is stable, the doctors are concerned about the sudden fever he has developed due to an infection. “Hundreds of people are visiting him daily, including politicians. We have requested the family to restrict the number,” Jairaj said.
The principal’s defence
When called, principal CG Anita said, “I have just taken charge, in November. I was unaware of any such incident till I received a call from the Changanassery police station on December 7... I was shocked... No complaint has come to me so far.”
“The college’s anti-ragging committee has suspended the eight seniors involved. We have also decided to give compulsory counselling to all juniors,” she added. According to Anita, it’s the first such incident at the college. And yet, till today, she has not gone to the room in question nor bothered to inquire with anyone about the materials seized from there by the police, who raided the place almost a week later.
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