The 18-year-old student of Al Qamar Nursing College in Karnataka’s Gulbarga region, who is in hospital after suffering severe damage to her organs, had consumed a toilet-cleaning liquid after a fight with her senior Lakshmi Pillai on May 9, police investigation has revealed.
Pillai was arrested on Friday night with two other students, Athira Reji and Krishnapriya, on charges of ragging K P Ashwathy, a first-year Dalit student hailing from Kerala. Shilpa Joe, another student named in the complaint lodged by Ashwathy’s family is not in Gulbarga and is likely to be arrested once she returns.
Gulbarga police said the series of events leading to Ashwathy consuming the chemical began with ragging episodes in the hostel, during which Ashwathy was made to “sing and dance’’.
IG, Karnataka’s north eastern range, B Shivakumar, said third-year student Pillai had found a piece of paper with “that dirty Lakshmi” written on it, allegedly by Ashwathy who was upset over the ragging sessions.
On May 9, Pillai confronted Ashwathy with three other senior students over the piece of paper and allegedly assaulted her. Later, the victim consumed a chemical. She was rushed to the hospital by her seniors, including the accused,” he said.
“The three arrested students have been remanded in judicial custody for 14 days. The investigating team has got in touch with the fourth accused, who is in Kerala. She has agreed to come to Gulbarga soon,” the IGP said.
Police said the investigation in the case is almost over. College Principal Esther David would be charged for withholding information about the student consuming the poisonous chemical.
Administration of Al Qamar College, which is owned by Congress MLA Qamarul Islam, said on Saturday that it would initiate strict action against the students. The administrator of the college M M Baig said the college would discuss the issue in its next board meeting and will take steps to cancel the admission of the accused students.