The victim and attackers belong to Kerala; seven arrested

A 20-year old engineering student riding on a motorcycle fell off the vehicle and died of head injuries after he was hit by a rod hurled by a group of seven fellow students who were chasing him in a car on National Highway 7 on Thursday evening.

The victim was identified as Deepak (20) of Gnanamani College of Technology at Rasipuram here.

His room mate J. Dinesh (20), who was on the pillion, suffered serious injuries. The victim and the attackers belong to Kerala.

All the seven students were arrested by the police on Friday. Five of them were doing their third year engineering, while the others in the second year.

Rasipuram Deputy Superintendent of Police S.T. Rajan told The Hindu on Friday that initially the incident was thought to be an accident. Dinesh, who was admitted to a private hospital, said a skirmish on the college campus in the afternoon had led to the attack. A few third-year students were waiting to drink water from a cooler in the college when Deepak pushed them aside to move ahead. When some of the seniors picked up a quarrel with him, Dinesh intervened.

When the two were heading home, the seven chased them. Quoting Dinesh, the police official said one of the students in the car made repeated attempts to attack them with an iron rod and then threw it on the rider, causing him to lose control of the motorcycle.

“Based on the information from Dinesh we tracked the car and intercepted it at the Omalur Toll Plaza. The occupants claimed they were on their way to Bangalore”, he added.

It is learnt that the arrested students stayed together in a room in Salem and came to college every day in this car, police said.

Deepak, from Thaliparamba in Kannur district and Dinesh from Moovattupuzha in Ernakulam district, were staying in a rented house.

The police gave the names of the arrested as Sebin Jones (20) and J. Davis John (21) of Kannur; Davis K. Cherian (21) of Pathanamthitta; A. Sarath (20) of Malappuram and J. Lijo Joseph (21) of Kozhikode and second year students Mithun Thomas (20) of Malappuram and M. Ashwath (20) of Kozhikode.

The arrested were booked under Sections 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 147 (unlawful assembly of more than five persons) and 148 (possession of deadly weapons by a gang of more than five persons) of the Indian Penal Code.

The college management said that its disciplinary committee was holding an inquiry to identify the reason behind the incident.

Strong action would be initiated based on the findings of this inquiry and the probe by the police.