MALAPPURAM, India – A nursing student was in critical condition and admitted to an intensive care unit of a hospital after she was forced to drink toilet cleaner by senior students as part of an alleged ragging activity in their college.
TP Nijeesh mentioned in his article for The Times of India that the 19-year-old victim, identified as Aswathi who is a Dalit or the lower caste in India, is studying at a Banglore nursing college when the incident happened.
Aswathi is enrolled in the first-semester nursing program of Al Qamar College of Nursing in Gulbarga near Bangalore and ended in the Intensive care unit of Kozhikode Medical College Hospital (KMCH) after suffering severe stomach injuries.
The student claimed she was “ragged” by the senior students at the women’s hostel of the college on May 9 and was allegedly forced to drink toilet cleaner by a gang of seniors, consisting of eight students who are all from Kerala, a state in southern India.
Five days after the incident, Aswathi’s condition worsened; forcing the school to send her home. The student was taken to the Thrissur Medical College Hospital by her relatives and after two days was moved to a bigger hospital named KMCH on June 2.
An article by Sneha Mary Koshy for NDTV said that the doctors had suggested a major surgery to be done as the chemicals ingested by Aswathi have severely damaged a major portion of her esophagus.
Aswathi, who belongs to a poor family, joined the college five months ago after getting an education loan from Kerala Gramin Bank. Her uncle claimed she was being “ragged” from the time she joined the hostel.
The girl’s relatives also claimed that the police officials in Bangalore, as well as the college authorities, are yet to take any action based on their ‘ragging’ complaint.
The girl’s mother has already approached Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Viajayan as well as the Director General of Police in Bangalore, demanding quick action against the culprits.