TAMIL NADU

Ragging case triggers protest along caste lines

ELURU, DEC. 22. The case of ragging in which a second year Dalit student was a victim has stoked a caste fight on the campus of Sir CRR Reddy Engineering College here.

Even as a group of students belonging to weaker sections staged a dharna in front of the office of the college Principal on Saturday demanding justice to the ragging victim, the rival group with the students of upper castes took out a procession in protest against the arrest of the accused under the provisions of Andhra Pradesh SC and ST Atrocities (Prevention) Act.

The students defending the accused went in a procession to the office of the Superintendent of Police and submitted a memorandum seeking a revision in framing the chargesheet against the accused in the case -- Devineni Rajesh Gandhi, Rajesh and Srikant, final year engineering students, and two other outsiders. They contended that the incident was in no way related to the provisions of the SC and ST Atrocities (Prevention) Act.

Meanwhile, another group belonging to weaker sections held a dharna in support of the victim, Rajesh Khanna, on the college premises demanding that the authorities should ensure protection to the victim and take steps to prevent recurrence of such incidents.

In this connection, the police took into custody Mr DVND Prasad, secretary of the Student Federation of India (SFI) district committee, Mr R Linga Raju, his DYFI counterpart, and Mr P Seshu, Mr R Suvarna Raju and Mr B Sagar of Kula Vivaksha Vyatireka Porata Committee when they went to the college from outside and allegedly tried to prevent students entering the college.

Meanwhile, a team of leaders from Andhra Pradesh Mala Maha Nadu, led by its president, Mr PV Rao, arrived here today, consoled the victim being treated in the local government hospital and extended its full support to the demand for justice to the Dalit victim.