Sidharthan assaulted with belt, cable; harassment took off his self-respect: CBI

JS Sidharthan. Photo: Special arrangement

Kochi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) team probing the death of Sidharthan J S, a student of the College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Pookode, Wayanad has found that a criminal conspiracy was hatched to assault and humiliate him. 

The central agency, which took up the investigation following a plea by the deceased student’s family, found that the humiliation and harassment by the accused – all students of the same college – deprived Sidharthan of his self-respect and dignity leading to his death. The CBI states its findings in a report submitted to the chief judicial magistrate, Ernakulam, recently.

The agency has named 19 students as accused. The findings are mostly concurrent with those of the Anti-Ragging Squad of the college and the local police.  

According to the CBI, Sidharthan was illegally confined and assaulted with a belt and cable wire of a glue gun. He was also forced to strip his clothes and remain in his underwear only. 

“The humiliation and harassment has deprived Sidhrthan of his self-respect and dignity. After beating and humiliation, the accused did not provide him medical care or consoled him, thereby abetted him to commit suicide,” the CBI report says. 

The CBI has sent the postmortem report and the detailed notes of the forensic surgeon to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) seeking expert opinion from a medical board. The agency also wants mobile phones seized as part of the probe examined by forensic experts for incriminating materials.

It informed the court that the investigation was still open and the role of others involved in the crime is to be established. 

Sidharthan was found hanging in a bathroom of his hostel on February 18. The CBI registered the case on April 5 after the state government handed over the probe to the central agency following a public uproar. The CPM-led state government had come under fire over the alleged role of the members of the Students Federation of India, the ruling party’s campus wing.

The CBI registered a case over the incident on April 5, 2024. The CBI report states that the accused questioned and assaulted Sidharthan for misbehaving with a female student on February 12. Sidharthan, on his way to his home in Thiruvananthapuram, was called back to campus on February 16 and assaulted first in a hostel room and then in the courtyard of the hostel in front of many students.

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