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12 suspects will be charged under the POCSO Act in the JU ragging death

The 12 accused Jadavpur University students—both current and former—who were detained in connection with the tragic death of a first-year student at the institution will now be charged under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO) Act, the homicide division of the Kolkata Police announced on Friday.

On August 10, a first-year Bengali honors student died after falling from the balcony of a dorm. He is said to have fallen victim to ragging.

Given that the dead student was under 18 and should thus be regarded as a child, it has been decided to add provisions under the POCSO Act against the 12 accused, according to a municipal police officer.

The 12 accused students will appear before a lower court in Kolkata on September 11 while they are all still in judicial detention.

The West Bengal Child Rights Commission (WBCRC) first demanded the addition of POCSO Act provisions on the basis that the victim was a juvenile when he passed away.

The tragic incident exposed the lamentable state of monitoring and supervision on the JU campus, particularly in the dorms where former students not only continued to reside in beds months after graduating from the institution, but also served as the final arbiter in administrative issues involving housing.

Four current students were recently recommended for rustication from the institution by the internal investigation committee due to their participation in ragging.

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