A male cook, who barged into the girls’ hostel on the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) campus in HSR Layout, started attacking inmates and banging on doors on Saturday night, police and eyewitnesses said. At least three students were injured in the attack, which has sent shock waves among students in the premier institution.

The allegedly inebriated cook, identified as Harish, was taken into custody by the police, but inexplicably, a case under Section 92 of the Karnataka Police Act, a non-cognizable one, was registered against him.

An injured student said Harish barged into the hostel at 10.30pm. He began knocking on the doors and ran around the corridors like a maniac, recalled the shocked hostel inmates.

“My friend and I had gone to collect water from the purifier on the corridor when he started chasing us. My friend managed to run into the room, but I slipped and he caught hold of me,” said one. Harish, she said, pinned her against the wall and began beating her up.

“An inmate who rushed out tried to hit him with a bottle and when he got a little bit distracted, I managed to free myself from him and ran into the nearest room. I bolted it from inside and waited,” the shocked inmate recalled.

Even as Harish was unleashing a wave of terror, his two colleagues in the canteen stood watching as he grabbed the victim by her hair and assaulted her, before walking away. “Someone called the police, who finally, along with the college guards and the director, came and took him away,” she said.

The inmates were not aware that the canteen employees lived on the campus. “There are three women guards on each of the three floors usually. On Saturday, they were not there,” said another student.