KERALA

Nursing student held in `sexual assault' case

Staff Reporter

KOTTAYAM: Even as the police on Monday arrested one person in connection with the alleged sexual assault on a first year student in the name of ragging by seniors at the School of Medical Education (SME) under Mahatma Gandhi University, students belonging to Students' Federation of India (SFI) took out agitations on the campus, which resulted in minor violence. The arrested youth, Renjith is a third year B.Sc. (Nursing) student. K. Muraleedharan Nair, Director, SME, has been admitted to Kottayam Government Medical College hospital with head injuries. The issue relates to the alleged "gang rape" of a first year student by her seniors. According to the victim, she had gone to the Principal's room on October 21, seeking leave for a day on the next day. While she was coming back, a group of senior students subjected her to minor ragging and later forced here into the laboratory hall close by.

According to the girl, she was then given some sweets and after eating it she fell unconscious. She could identify at least two seniors who had sexually assaulted her, she said. There were eight persons in total, according to her. After the incident, the seniors themselves took her to Kottayam and sent her home near Mundakkayam.

According to the girl's father, his daughter was mentally and physically exhausted when she came home. The girl returned to SME on October 27, but she was threatened by the culprits, he alleged. She again received threatening calls from one of the culprits on November 7 and it was then that the girl told the whole story to her parents. They then complained to the SME authorities. According to the SME authorities, they received a written complaint on November 9 and had handed over the letter the same day to the police.

The police on receiving the complaint from the SME authorities took up the matter.

Meanwhile, CPI(M) district secretary K.J. Thomas and district committee member and CITU leader V.N. Vasavan said they wanted the authorities to take stringent action against the SME Principal and the Head of the Department of Psychiatry at Kottayam Government Medical College who, they alleged, tried to hush up the matter and help the culprits.

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