The minor girl is a first-year student who joined the college last month.
A college fresher was forced to kiss a minor girl in Odisha in yet another incident of ragging in the country. Five students, including two minors, were taken into custody for multiple charges including sexual harassment after a video of the incident went viral.
The college in Ganjam district has expelled 12 students involved in the incident. This is the latest after a fresher was seen being physically abused at a Hyderabad college earlier this month, prompting outrage on social media.
The minor, a first-year student who joined the government college last month, was forcibly kissed by a boy at a ground on being instigated by his seniors, the video showed. As she stands up to leave, a senior student holds her hand to stop her.
The accused, seen with a stick in his hand, also slaps the boy as he tries to argue with him.
Shockingly, the episode unfolded in front of other girls, seen giggling rather than protesting against the sexual harassment.
The students involved in the incident have been identified, and the disciplinary committee and anti-ragging cell have decided to expel them, said the college principal.
She said that the accused second-year students will not be allowed to write their annual papers. “We will write to the council of higher secondary education about the incident”, she said.
The five detained students have been charged for ragging and under the strict Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and IT Act. The detained minors will be presented before the juvenile justice board.
The main accused is Abhishek Nahak, 24, a final-year student. Out on bail in a sexual harassment case, Nahak was nominated to the campus committee of the college by the ruling Biju Janata Dal’s student wing, of which he is a member.
This is not just a case of ragging, but amounts to sexual harassment of the girl, said Superintendent of Police, Berhampur, Saraban Vivek M. The Odisha police have reiterated the state’s ragging helpline to report such incidents.
The Odisha incident comes weeks after the Hyderabad episode, and a month after a student was found dead in his hostel room at IIT-Kharagpur. While the police had termed the IIT incident to be a suicide case, court had observed it could be a ragging case.