How a private chat between a boy and a girl led to religion-related ragging in IBS, a Hyderabad B-school

The college has suspended 12 students over the violence. The police have arrested five, while seven are absconding.

BySumit Jha

Published Nov 13, 2022 | 8:32 PM Updated Nov 14, 2022 | 4:02 PM

A video of the IBS ragging incident in Hyderabad went viral on social media

As many as 12 students of ICFAI Foundation for Higher Education (IFHE), commonly known as IBS — a private deemed university at Shankarpally on the outskirts of Hyderabad — were suspended by the institution over a religion-related ragging incident on 1 November.

The students had thrashed and humiliated a junior student.

“The video of ragging went viral on social media where a junior student is being humiliated and thrashed by the senior students from IBS. The incident came to light on Friday [11 November] after a junior student shared the video via Twitter and tagged Telangana minister KT Rama Rao and the Cyberabad police,” the IBS registrar’s office said.

The Shankarpally police under the Cyberabad police commissionerate on 12 November arrested five students who were involved in the incident. Seven more students who have been booked are absconding.

IBS students booked for ragging, attempt to murder

“A total of 12 students have been booked in this case. We are investigating the case and accordingly taking each step. They have been booked under various sections of the IPC,” M Mahesh Goud, Station House Officer of Shankarpally, told South First.

The accused have been booked under IPC Sections 307 (attempt to murder), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 342 (wrongful confinement), 450 (trespass in order to commit an offence), 506 (criminal intimidation), and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention), and Sections 4(I), (II), and (III) of the TS Prohibition of Ragging Act.

Case against IBS too for negligence

The police have also registered a case against the ICFAI institute  — IBS — for negligence.

However, the IBS registrar said in a statement that “the institution has acted with alacrity and decided to suspend all the 12 concerned students with immediate effect”.

“The institution has zero tolerance towards such undesirable acts,” the statement added.

The IBS ragging incident

A rift between a 19-year-old BBA-LLB first-year victim and a girl student, both Hindus and from the same batch, led to a controversy where the victim’s comment on a religious figure belonging to another community sparked the incident.

In his complaint, the victim said that the girl shared a private chat between the two of them amongst a group of Muslim collegemates, who later came and thrashed him in the hostel.

According to the victim, in his complaint to the institution, after the girl labelled him a paedophile because they have a three-and-a-half-year age difference, he said that he didn’t want to engage in sexual activity with her.

He added that a religious figure was a paedophile. “I am aware that I shouldn’t have selected this example, but I was unable to think of any other situations that were comparable, so I chose the well-known one,” he mentioned in the complaint.

These conversations took place on a private Instagram chat between them.

The police also confirmed that the initial conversation was just between two people.

‘Kicked my testicles, made me chant a religious slogan’

“On 1 November, 15 to 20 guys burst into my hostel room. They ganged up on me, kicked my testicles, humiliated me, recorded it, and threatened to beat me to death if I didn’t take my trousers off. When I refused, they hit me,” said the victim in his complaint.

“I have noticeable bruises under my right eye, and the situation was so bad that a man prevented people from striking me in the head because I would get hurt. My skull also swelled, and I also have discomfort in my nose. They informed me as they left that if I reported it to college authorities, I would be removed from the university’s grounds and my body would be disposed of. I was initially unaware of any of this, but when I asked them about my error, they informed me that I had” called a religious leader a paedophile, the victim added.

He also said that he was made to chant a religious slogan and that his privacy was invaded when they checked his phone for other messages.

In the alleged video of the incident that is circulating on social media, he was indeed seen being asked to say a religious slogan.