An 18-year-old student of a Noida-based media institute has alleged that three of his seniors molested and physically assaulted him, terrorised him with a firearm, and attempted to blackmail him by threatening to upload a video of the incident on the internet. According to the police, the victim is in the first year of an animation course at Asian School of Graphics & Animation – a unit of Marwah Studios, sector 16A, Noida.
Victim in a state of shock, parents demand strict action
“I joined ASGA for a three-year programme in October 2013. On April 15, some seniors beat me up at the hostel situated in B block of sector 46. They had hit me before, but this time they smacked me over 400 times, even with their slippers. While two of the seniors were assaulting me, the third was recording the proceedings on his mobile phone. They also brandished a gun and threatened to kill me. The trio demanded I pay Rs. 5,000, failing which they would make the video public by uploading it on the internet,” said the victim. He also alleged that the accused had molested him.
The teenager claims that he apprised members of the institute management about the episode, who seized the cellphone and found the video clip. Two of the accused are enrolled in an acting programme, while the third is pursuing a course in cinema.
“No action was taken by the organisation against the culprits. Instead, it tried to gloss over the matter. But, as my son was in deep depression, the management made arrangements to drop him home, in Karnal. On reaching here, he narrated the incident to us, and we decided to approach the police on April 17,” said the victim’s father, who accompanied him from Karnal to pursue the matter.
“The officials at sector 20 police station in Noida made us sit for several hours, and then asked us to contact their counterparts in sector 39. Here, we again waited for a few hours, before an FIR was registered,” he added.
According to the police, a case of ragging and extortion has been registered, and the accused have also been booked for performing unnatural sexual acts. “We have put together various teams that are investigating the case. We have also got the video, and have identified the students involved. We will soon arrest them and record their statements. The accused are at large, but their families have been informed. Personnel have been sent to Jalandhar and Gorakhpur to apprehend those named in the FIR,” said Shivram Yadav, deputy superintendent of police, Gautam Budh Nagar.
Meanwhile, the institute management has denied the ragging incident. Representatives maintained that it was a case of personal dispute between the students, who all reside at the same hostel. “This is not a case of ragging, but a fight between friends. As soon as the episode came to light, we constituted a five-member committee, and discussed the matter with the three accused in the video. They said that they had had an argument with the victim, which turned into a fight. As the teenager had been beaten up, we arranged a taxi for him and sent him home. On reaching his residence, he and his family decided to register an FIR. Now police are investigating the matter. We have issued a warning and rusticated two students from the academy,” said Sandeep Marwah, director of the institute.