The alleged ragging incident at Berhampur’s government-run Binayak Acharya College took a new twist after Berhampur Police booked all five students arrested earlier on Wednesday under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
Two of them are in the institution’s higher secondary school, while the rest are in Plus III. Abhishek Nahak (24), a Plus III final year student, is the main accused, while the victim, a minor, is a Plus II first year student who started at the college a month ago.
The video which went viral and sparked outrage, showed 12 students, four of whom were female, raging the victim. The college issued compulsory transfer certificates (TC) to all of them as Plus II and III students. No students can now enroll in college or obtain a degree from any other educational institution.
“Police have initiated criminal proceedings against the five accused, while the college has ordered to hand over compulsory TC to all the 12 students who are seen in the video, on disciplinary grounds on Friday,” said principal of the college Pramila Khadanga.
“Initially we thought three of them were minors but after age verification, it came to fore that two were below the age of 18. The incident took place on Tuesday afternoon near the college gate during the lunch hour and the video went viral in the night,” the SP informed.
While initially a ragging case was filed, Sarvana informed that only after the traumatised victim was counselled, she agreed to report the incident which came under the POCSO Act.
Meanwhile, the SP has decided to open a dedicated helpline that will be used to report only ragging incidents in educational institutes of Berhampur, within a few days. “A DSP ranking officer will handle the helpline and any ragging case reported will be immediately taken up for investigation,” said the SP.