1800-180-5522 : Anti-ragging toll-free helpline by the University Grants Commission (UGC) operational in 12 languages. 

TW: Ragging, death, mentions of suicide 

An 18-year-old student died after falling from the hostel balcony in Kolkata. Family and friends of the deceased allege ragging by senior students.

In an unfortunate incident, a first-year student of Jadavpur University (JU), Kolkata succumbed to his injuries on the morning of August 10, after falling from the second floor balcony of the University’s boys hostel the night before. The victim, identified as Swapnodeep Kundu, was a student of Bengali Honours and had moved into the hostel two days ago, at the beginning of the new academic session. Parents of the deceased and a large section of the student body have claimed that the 18-year-old was a victim of ragging. According to the initial probe undertaken by the police, Swapnodeep had “jumped off” the balcony. On Friday, August 11, the police registered an FIR under section 302 (murder) and section 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) based on a complaint lodged by the victim’s father. A former JU student, who continued staying at the main hostel after graduating, has been arrested by the police for his alleged involvement in the case. 

Shankha Shubra Chakrabarty, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) reported that Swapnodeep had fallen from the second floor of the JU hostel around 11.45 p.m on Wednesday. Police sources reveal that students in the ‘A’ Block of the University’s Main Hostel rushed outside when they heard a loud thud, where they reportedly saw the victim’s naked body lying in a pool of blood. He was taken to KPC Medical College for treatment, where he succumbed to his wounds around 4.30 a.m on Thursday. The initial postmortem revealed that he suffered fractures on the left side of his head and his spine. There were additional injuries on his head, rib, and pelvis, as reported by a senior police official. 

According to the testimony of the victim’s father, the student had called his mother multiple times on Wednesday evening, wanting to return home to Hanskhali, Nadia.

My son called and spoke to his mother on Wednesday night. He was very afraid and was under tremendous pressure. He begged me and his mother to come. It was clear that he was being tortured.

the student’s father told the journalists, as reported by The Hindustan Times. 

Police have also examined the mobile phones of his roommates to further the investigation. 

His phone got switched off later. We are looking into his call list to find out whether he spoke to anyone else after that or not.

stated a senior police officer.  

Reportedly, the student’s uncle, Anup, informed the police that the 18-year-old had told his mother that he was not “feeling well” and was “very scared”.

When his mother asked him what had happened, he asked her to come soon. He said that he had a lot to tell her.

– claimed the victim’s uncle. 

Anup told The Indian Express that the new session had started recently and his nephew had attended a few classes, informing his father that he was “happy”. Since he wasn’t allotted his room at the hostel, he was staying in a friend’s room. Further, dismissing any speculations of suicide, the victim’s uncle mentioned, “Of course, it is a case of ragging. Why else would a boy with a healthy mind suddenly die?. I want a probe so that no other family suffers like us.”

According to police sources, the deceased’s classmates claimed that Swapnodeep had spoken with them about the problems, which were keeping him from getting any sleep at night. These classmates had also brought it to the notice of the concerned teacher. A social media post by another first-year student alleged that Swapnodeep’s unfortunate death was due to ragging inflicted by some seniors.

My name is Arpan Majhi. I am a first-year student at Jadavpur University. My family is economically backward and I grew up in Asansol. Naturally, I applied for a hostel during admission. Spending two to three nights at the hostel was quite tormenting to me and because of that, I have started looking for a mess despite facing great difficulty, even if I have to take out a loan,

he said in that post.


I have heard many stories about the main hostel. Stories of them helping flood victims, standing by the side of helpless people during the Covid-19 pandemic. I believe most of the seniors in the main hostel carry this fighting tradition. But for a few of them, I lost my classmate,

the student alleged in his Facebook post.


A few students also claimed that Swapnodeep was made to run unclothed on the hostel terrace on Wednesday, which led him to take the extreme step.

However, in a student’s General Body Meeting (GBM) organised by the Faculty of Engineering and Technology Students’ Union (FETSU), a scuffle broke out between 2 student groups with some students alleging that the victim was not mentally stable and took his own life. 

Only a section of students feel that it is ragging. Others believe it’s an outcome of gender-insensitive comments. We want a ragging-free campus,

commented FETSU general secretary Gourav Das.

Kunal Chattopadhyay, a professor of Comparative Literature at the University, also alleged that the student was being ragged. 

A first-year student died a little while ago, being a victim of ragging. I remember that pamphlets were published saying that whether ragging is really ‘ragging’ or not, should be decided through a democratic process. Many will try to save themselves after this death.

– wrote Chattopadhyay in a Facebook post on Thursday.

According to police reports, some students claim that they had called the dean, Rajat Roy, around 10 p.m. to bring Swapnodeep’s “abnormal” behaviour to his notice. However, they were told that the issue would be addressed the following morning. Students claim that they called the dean again an hour later, just before Swapnodeep’s death, but their calls went unanswered. 

However, in his conversation with the media, Roy claims to have involved the hostel superintendent in the resolution of the issue.

At 10:05 pm on Wednesday, I received a call from a student. He said that another student was facing ‘politicising’. I couldn’t understand and asked him to explain. He said that a student was being asked not to stay in the hostel because if one has to stay in the hostel, he needs to jump from the balcony. I asked him to inform the hostel superintendent,

Roy, dean of students of JU, told the media.

The dean claims to have informed the hostel superintendent himself, who reported no such issues after his inquiry.

At 10:08 pm I asked the superintendent to check. The next phone call I got (was a) little after midnight in which the superintendent informed me that a student has fallen from the balcony and I rushed to the hospital,

Roy added.

Students of Jadavpur University have also alleged that the main hostel, which is located outside the university campus, is frequently visited by ex-students, who stay illegally and harass the younger students. On Friday, the student body staged a protest on the university campus to demand justice for the deceased. 


JU students organised a protest against ragging on Friday. Image Credits: The Hindustan Times

Meanwhile, the University has asked the freshers to relocate to a separate hostel while ensuring that no outsiders be allowed at the main hostel. To further investigate the matter, the University authorities have set up a nine-member panel to submit a detailed report in 2 weeks.

All undergraduate first-year students have been instructed to temporarily shift to the New Boys Hostel. No ex-students as well as outsiders would be allowed to stay in the hostel. Hostel superintendents have been asked to send names of ex-students and outsiders who do not comply,

said an anonymous JU official.

Jadavpur University Teachers’ Association (JUTA) Secretary Partha Pratim Roy advocated that new students stay in a separate hostel as per UGC guidelines. He demanded that former students, who continue to live in the hostel, must be asked to leave. 

We demand exemplary punishment for those responsible for the student’s death.

– commented JUTA Secretary, Roy. 

Meanwhile, the Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR) blamed West Bengal Governor, C.V. Ananda Bose and the State Government for the death of the student, demanding a judicial probe into the incident. 

We blame the Governor of West Bengal and the state education department for the unfortunate death of a first-year student of Jadavpur University. Because of their conflict, there is no vice-chancellor in the university. With a temporary vice-chancellor, no one is willing to take responsibility for anything. As a result, special surveillance and security arrangements were not made for the first-year students.

read a statement issued by the APDR on Thursday.

Governor Bose, who is also the Chancellor of the University, informed the media that he visited the JU hostel to discuss the matter with the student and teacher body and assured the student’s father of stern action against those responsible for his son’s death. 

I went to the hostel, I discussed with the students and also the teachers, they want justice. Justice will be done. They presented before me some of the basic issues here. We’ll address them, we’ll do our best. We’ll give them justice and strong action will be taken.

– stated West Bengal Governor, Bose.

Following the unfortunate incident, he convened an emergency meeting of vice-chancellors, teachers-in-charge of anti-ragging squads, psychologists, and parents on Friday at Raj Bhavan, Kolkata.

It was decided to put an end to the entry of miscreants from outside into the campus of the universities and colleges leading to violence and intimidation of the unsuspecting freshers who join the university,

a representative of the Governor stated. 

1800-180-5522 : Anti-ragging toll-free helpline by the University Grants Commission (UGC) operational in 12 languages. 


Read also: DU’s New Mechanism Against Ragging and Harassment – DU Beat – Delhi University’s Independent Student Newspaper

Featured Image Credits: The Indian Express


Manvi Goel

[email protected]