Police on Monday registered an FIR after family of Jadavpur University student Sushil Mandi, who went missing from the hostel on February 2, lodged a fresh complaint. The complaint at Jadavpur police station named five of Mandi’s friends as suspects.
The MPhil student went missing from the hostel four days after he was named in a social media post as an accused in the molestation of a girl student from the film studies department during a feminist campaign on the campus. Both of them took part in the campaign.
“An FIR has been registered on the basis of a complaint filed by the missing youth’s brother, Haradhan Mandi who named Soumya Mondal, Dibyakamal Mitra, Koustav Mondal, Nabottoma Pal and also the girl who brought molestation charges against Sushil,” said an officer at Jadavpur police station.
Apart from the victim of the alleged molestation, four others named in the FIR are members of the Left-wing student outfit, United Students’ Democratic Front (USDF). Sushil is a member of another Leftwing outfit, Radical. Incidentally, Sushil, a known political activist, had participated in several programmes with those named in the FIR.
Koustav Mondal, an ex-student of the university, was also allegedly thrashed on the campus by members of Radical on Monday evening, leading to tension on the campus.
“We suspect that it was the humiliation Sushil suffered in public because of the people named in the FIR that led to his disappearance,” said Jubi Saha, a member of Radical.
Radical and USDF members joined hands ahead of the JU student council elections and carried out a feminist campaign on January 16 during which they broke the locks of the ladies’ toilets.
Members of the two outfits alleged that the campus authorities used to lock the ladies’ toilets after sundown to discourage girl students from staying late on campus, whereas male students didn’t face any such problem. Some students, who are members of neither organisations, also joined the programme.
The victim of the alleged molestation told her friends after the campaign that Sushil touched her inappropriately during the programme. She, however, did not lodge any complaint with JU authorities or the police and left it on the two organisations to redress her grievance.
While USDF sided with her and demanded that members of Radical acknowledge the charge, Radical claimed that Sushil was targeted because he was a tribal.
After a few discussions between the two groups, the girl took to the social media to air her allegation. On January 28, the USDF posted a statement on the social media, also naming Sushil, and demanding Radical’s active role in addressing her complaint.
“We are ready to cooperate with the police who are trying to trace Sushil. However, we feel that the police complaint against the girl will hurt the feminist agenda that both the organisations have raised,” said Soumya Mondal.