Top-level probe into J’Pura ragging incident | Daily News


Senior DIG to lead investigation

Top-level probe into J’Pura ragging incident

University offers to send victim abroad for treatment

Police has assigned Western Province Senior DIG Deshabandu Tennakoon to probe the incident where a first year student of the Sri Jayewardenepura University sustained severe injuries at a ‘night party’ at the university premises allegedly as a result of ragging.

Sri Jayewardenepura University acting Vice Chancellor Senior Prof Sudantha Liyanage told the Daily News that the University management has decided to provide financial support to send the student, Pasindu Hirushan (20), for overseas treatment if it helps his recovery. “We are ready to give any amount of money from the University Fund to send him anywhere in the world,” Prof. Liyanage said.

He stressed that the students involved in the alleged incident would be given maximum punishment once identified.

Hirushan sustained brain injuries after being hit by a huge tyre which was allegedly thrown at him by some senior students. The Vice Chancellor said the opinions of the Government Analyst and the Judicial Medical Officer (JMO) have been sought to identify the tyre that was used as there had been about four tyres (a truck tyre, bus tyre and two car tyres) in the vicinity.

He said 10 high ranking police officers came to the university yesterday to carry out preliminary investigations. “Police came to the university three times following the incident and we have extended our full cooperation to them to track down the suspects. We have suspicions about three students at the moment, but cannot confirm their involvement yet,” he added.

“The studentship of those found guilty will be terminated and they will be expelled from the university if they had done this deliberately. Night parties have been happening for about 10-15 years now.

We have now taken a decision to introduce strict rules on them. It seems that some students had consumed alcohol. After the ‘bucketing’, about 100-150 students had remained in the university premises and continued the party late into the night. This incident had occurred around 1.15 a.m. - 1.30 a.m. on March 6,” he added.

University Grants Commission Chairman Prof Sampath Amaratunga told the Daily News that the UGC yesterday wrote to the acting IGP urging a thorough and independent investigation on the incident.

“We are waiting to see the results of the investigations. Several security guards had also been present and therefore finding the names of the students will not be very difficult. The students who committed this crime will be punished and they will not be able to come to the University again,” he said.

Following the incident, the injured student was rushed to the Kalubowila hospital and then transferred to the Colombo National hospital.

Colombo National Hospital Deputy Director General Dr Kumara Wickramasinghe told the Daily News that the student was removed from the life support machine yesterday, and was being given artificial ventilation. He said the student was still in critical condition, but slight eye movements could be observed.

Meanwhile, Higher Education, Technology and Innovation Minister Dr. Bandula Gunawardena paid a visit to the Colombo National Hospital yesterday to look into the condition of the injured student.

Speaking to the media after this visit, the minister requested the full support of the religious leaders, parents, students and teachers to stop ragging at the universities. He said the Government led by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has adopted a strong anti-ragging policy, and is committed to eliminate ragging in universities.

However, he pointed out that the Government was not willing to interfere into the internal affairs of universities, adding that two separate investigations were being conducted on the incident by the Police and the University authorities.

Emphasizing the need to prevent a recurrence of similar incidents, the minister thanked the doctors and the hospital staff for their tireless efforts to save the life of the student.

The victim, who sat for the GCE Advanced Level Examination in 2018 passed with three ‘A’s and entered the University just three months ago.


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