Students Scuffle With Police During Bid To Gherao Odisha Assembly Over Ruchika Mohanty Death Case

OB Bureau

Bhubaneswar: A large number of students scuffled with police while trying to gherao Odisha Assembly in Bhubaneswar on Wednesday alleging improper probe into the death of BJB Autonomous college’s Ruchika Mohanty five months ago.

The protesters, who gathered under the banner of ‘Naba Nirman Chhatra Sangathan’, staged a demonstration and marched towards the Assembly in an attempt to gehrao the building seeking justice to the deceased girl student.

The mother and family members also joined the demonstrators, who were holding banners and posters besides shouting slogans like ‘Justice for Ruchika’ and ‘Naveen government hai hai.’

They alleged that though five months have elapsed since Ruchika died, investigation by the police had failed to ascertain as to who was responsible for her death. The protesters further alleged that women are not safe and secure in the state.

However, when the protesters were stopped from proceeding towards the Assembly building, a scuffle broke out. Several of the protesters were taken into custody by the police as a preventive measure, police sources said.

Over three months after a girl student of BJP Autonomous College in Bhubaneswar was found dead in her hostel room, the Odisha government has sought a status report on investigation in the case by Wednesday from the police.

It may be noted that Ruchika Mohanty, a Plus III girl student of BJB Autonomous College in Bhubaneswar, was found dead in her hostel room on July 2, this year. The police, which had seized her body and sent it for post-mortem, had stated that the girl had died of asphyxiation.

The Commissionerate of Police, in a release, had said that the post-mortem report has mentioned that Ruchika’s death was caused by suffocation in wind pipe due to hanging by neck. The viscera sample of the body has been sent to laboratory for further confirmation and obtaining the details, it added.

Belonging to Kakhadi village under Choudwar police limits in Cuttack district, 19-year-old Ruchika was a student of Plus III 1st year (History Honours) in the BJB College. She was staying in room number 201 of Karubaki Women’s Hostel of the college with her roommate.

Following her death, police had found a suicide note from her pocket. The note reportedly stated that she was taking the extreme step after being harassed by her seniors in the college.

According to sources, the Commissionerate Police had formed three teams headed by additional DCP for investigation into the case under direct supervision of Bhubaneswar DCP. The family members of Ruchika, statements of her relatives and the letter found from the deceased student were brought under the purview of investigation. The police had been directed by the government to complete the investigation as soon as possible.

Stating that the Home department follows zero tolerance towards crime and criminals, the government had directed the educational institutions to take steps as per the SOP issued by the department to stop ragging of the students in the campus.

Taking a suo motu cognizance of the case, the Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) had also issued a notice to the Commissionerate of Police and sought a report on the case and probe status.

OB Bureau

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