Peradeniya fresher allegedly stripped, hung from a beam and sexually abused

By Damith Wickremasekara

A fresher at the Peradeniya University was ordered to eat 10 parcels of rice, stripped and hung on a beam and later sexually abused, a Criminal Investigations Department (CID) probe into an incident of inhumane ragging has revealed.

Twenty five students of the University, including three who sexually abused a male fresher, have been identified in the probe. The investigation followed a complaint made by the parents of the student to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) N.K. Illangakoon.

The student, hailing from the Southern Province, had gained entry to Peradeniya University in October last year. In his first week at the campus, the student who had gained hostel accommodation within was not harassed or ragged.

However, in the second week, he had been taken away from the hostel to a hall of the university, to be ragged. “The first instance of ragging was when he was given 10 parcels of rice and ordered to eat them. He had vomited soon after he started eating and had fallen ill on the following day,” an officer involved in the investigations said.

During the next few days they had taken the student away at midnight and ragged him, he said.“One night, they had stripped him, hung him from the roof and assaulted him. He had been injured and taken to hospital,” he said.

However, a section of the students had forcibly got him discharged from the hospital and brought him back to the hostel. The following week, he had been taken to a lonely area of the university by three students, and sexually abused, he said. The student had left the university and returned home and was advised by his brother who was also a graduate, to find accommodation elsewhere.

However, though he found accommodation outside, he had been taken again by the students and hung from the roof and assaulted by the same group of students. “He had been re-admitted to hospital and forced to seek treatment in a psychiatric ward. Following his discharge, the CID spoke to him and he was able to identify the abusers, as well as those involved in the ragging, from the pictures shown to him,” he said.

He said that three of the students who allegedly sexually abused him, have been remanded until February 9. The other 22 are on surety bail of Rs. 100,000 each.

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