Swapnodeep Kundu, an 18-year-old first-year student, lost his life in a horrifying manner, raising alarming questions about the Jadhavpur University’s responsibility, student safety, and the glaring lack of effective action by the authorities.
Swapnodeep allegedly fell from the second-floor balcony of the Jadavpur University Main Hostel on the night of August 9. He soon passed away succumbing to his injuries. His family alleges that he was a victim of ragging, a claim supported by heart-wrenching stories shared by students who have faced similar ordeals. Sources said that Swapnodeep was asked to strip naked and walk on the terrace by seniors and while doing so he jumped off the building.
In a conversation on Wednesday night, Swapnodeep reached out to his mother, sharing his distress and fear. He said he wasn’t feeling well and asked her to come quickly, hinting at something serious. Sadly, their talk was cut short, and subsequent calls went unanswered.
This incident has shown that bullying, also known as “ragging,” is still a big issue at the university. Reports reveal that students are routinely subjected to physical and mental abuse under the guise of introduction. Many students have shared their stories about being bullied, and it’s clear that something needs to change.
One student, Subhajit Ghosh, talked about how he was forced to do humiliating things and was even kicked out of his room by other students. He tried to complain to the university, but they didn’t do much to help him. He felt very unsafe and scared. Students faced forceful sleep deprivation, demeaning tasks, physical assaults, and even asked to strip.
The final-year postgraduate student recalls his traumatic experiences, “I was subjected to humiliation and abuse from the moment I stepped into my hostel room. Despite my complaints, the authorities shifted me to a guest room instead of holding the perpetrators accountable. This lack of action fueled my torment,” He further added, “I realized, I will never be safe in this place no matter who led the ragging menace,” Ghosh said.
Shockingly, these reprehensible acts have been carried out with the knowledge of university authorities. The very individuals entrusted with students’ well-being have been accused of turning a blind eye, failing to take effective action to protect the vulnerable.
The distressing stories highlight a pattern of abuse primarily targeting economically underprivileged students, who often have no choice but to endure the torment due to limited options for affordable accommodations.
The Kolkata Police have initiated a murder investigation based on a complaint lodged by the victim’s father. Three senior students have reportedly been detained, including Sourav Chowdhury, a former student who had never left the Main Boys Hostel.
The state human rights commission has also stepped in, seeking a report from the university authorities. Governor CV Ananda Bose visited the campus and interacted with students, promising to address their concerns.