IANS

A lower court in Kolkata on Tuesday extended the police custody of the three accused in connection with the death of a fresher in the Jadavpur University (JU) on August 10.

The first year student of Bengali honours died under mysterious circumstances after falling from the balcony of a students’ hostel on August 10. It is suspected that he became a victim of ragging.

On Tuesday, the court extended the police custody of Saurav Chowdhury, a former student of M.Sc. mathematics in JU, and Deepsekhar Dutta, a second year student of economics in JU, till August 26, while the the same for Manotosh Ghosh, a second year student of international relations in JU, has been extended till August 25.

Saurav, despite being a former student, was reportedly the final word in finalising accommodation arrangements at the student's hostel, thus raising questions over the authorities' role in managing the administrative affairs at the hostel.

The public prosecutor even described Saurav as the “kingpin” of the ragging racket in JU.

On the other hand, the counsels for the accused described their clients as victims of circumstances while opposing the demand for extension of police custody by the public prosecutor.

After hearing the arguments from both sides, the judge of the lower court extended the trio's police custody.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday inaugurated a 24-hour helpline number on behalf of the state government where victims of ragging can call up and register their complaints.

According to Banerjee, immediate action will be taken by the authorities concerned once any complaint is registered on the helpline number.

The district-level anti-ragging committees will also be updated in this matter. The identity of the caller will not be disclosed.

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