IN A shocking incident, a student from Arunachal Pradesh was allegedly beaten up and left behind in a pool of blood by four to five youth on the premises of a Government Polytechnic in Shivajinagar on the eve of Independence Day. According to the college authorities, the Pune Police did not file a complaint, stating that the victim did not know any of the assailants.
The 17-year-old victim, Takam Todo, a diploma student of civil engineering at the Government Polytechnic, said he was having a conversation with his friends after dinner on August 14, when his torchlight accidently flashed on four to five unidentified youths, who were having a liquor party on the campus.
“The youths got angry and started to beat me up. They hit my head with a stone. I was left in a pool of blood. They slapped my friend too,” said Todo, showing the injury marks.
Todo said some of his friends left the spot immediately to call security guards while others fled from the scene fearing that they’d get beaten up. “After the assailants left, I was left bleeding and in pain. In such a situation, I walked to the Chaturshingi police station. The police gave me a note with content written in Marathi and asked me to get medical treatment from Sassoon Hospital,” he said.
Todo showed the note, signed and stamped at the Chaturshringi Police Station, to The Indian Express, believing it is a copy of police complaint.
Todo said no police personnel accompanied him for medical treatment. “I wanted emergency treatment so I went to Sancheti Hospital with college friends. Doctors advised me to do a CT scan. Fortunately, no major damage was found,” he said.
Next day, Todo again went to the police station with college staff. “The police did not register any complaint saying the boy could not identify the assailants,” said College Principal Dr D R Nandanwar.
Todo said, “I do not know the assailants as I have never seen them before. I do remember their faces and the fact that they were speaking in Marathi. They were taller than me…I am not aware of the legal procedures as I have never faced such an incident before. When I got the note from police for medical treatment, I thought that the complaint has been registered.”
Lawyer Asim Sarode said, “It appears to be a cognizable offence. Police should have taken him to Sassoon Hospital, get the medical treatment done, collect reports, file the offence against unidentified persons accordingly and then start the investigation. But it seems that police left everything to the victim.”
When contacted, senior police inspector Dayanand Dhome of Chaturshringi Police Station said, “The case was not brought to my notice. But I assure to take immediate action if the boy comes now.”
Meanwhile, an official of the Government Polytechnic said they have been facing this problem of some miscreants from nearby areas entering the premises by jumping the college compound walls often. The official said that they threaten the guards, staff and students and hold liquor parties. Officials said there are seven security guards in the college, but none came to Todo’s rescue. “It is difficult for the guards to overpower gang of miscreants who are sometimes armed,” said a college official.
“We had written to the police about this few months ago, asking them to increase patrolling around the college area. Now, we would again approach the Pune police commissioner,” said principal Dr. Nandanwar.
Meanwhile, Todo said he has informed his father Takam Tatung, who is former president of the All Arunachal Pradesh Student’s Union (AAPSU).
“My father has given me contact numbers of some local persons for help,” he said. Also, members of the North East Community of Pune (NECOP) have supported Todo. “After knowing about the incident, we approached Todo. We will be taking up the matter with police and college authorities,” said NECOP president Naguto Assumi, a law student of Nagaland.
Todo said he plays “free running parkour”, a game that needs extreme fitness. “I could bear the fierce attack only because of my fitness level,” he said.
“It does happen that because we look different, miscreants target the North East (N-E) India citizens, considering them as foreigners and outsiders,” said Ripeh Bagra of Arunachal Pradesh, advisor of NECOP.