A law student was beaten up and allegedly forced to chant religion slogans by a group of students at his hostel room in Hyderabad, a video of which has gone viral.
Himank Bansal, a first-year student at ICFAI Foundation for Higher Education (IFHE) in Hyderabad, was slapped, kicked and had his hands twisted, the video showed. He is also heard chanting "Jai Mata Di" and "Allahu Akbar" slogans, as the accused continued beating him.
"We want to fix his ideology. We will beat him into coma and he will remember a whole new world," an accused says. One of them snatches his wallet and tells another, "Take all the money you want."
"Have your ba**s dropped yet? Are you nine years old?" the other accused are heard telling Himank as he tries to defend himself. "You're acting like a child bro," he is told.
"On the first day everybody told you not to discriminate north Indian-south Indian. Again, you are discriminating," another is heard saying.
However, Cyberabad Police Commissioner Stephen Raveendra said there is "no north-south angle" in the incident. The student was forced to chant slogans of both the religions, he said.
Eight of the total 12 students, including a minor, have been taken into custody. The remaining are on the run. All of them have been suspended by the business school.
Five college officials, including the registrar and director (administration), have been ordered to appear before the police. Others in the management too are set to receive similar notices.
Police said the student was punched and kicked in his abdominal areas and the accused even touched his private parts. He was also forced to eat certain chemicals and powders, said an officer.
The accused sexually assaulted the student and tried to strip him. One of them said "beat him till he dies," said police. The student had suicidal thoughts due to the trauma he suffered, they added.
The incident occurred on November 1 after Himank made comments against the Prophet on social media. A case of ragging and attempt to murder has been registered, said police.
The business school, in a statement, said it has "zero tolerance towards such undesirable acts". The institution said "they had acted with alacrity and taken a decision to suspend all 12 concerned students" involved in the incident.
The BJP has demanded a proper investigation into the matter and slammed the K Chandrashekhar Rao-led Telangana government for not taking immediate action. "It is not about religion here. It is pseudo-secularism where such provocative incidents go unnoticed," BJP leader Rachana Reddy told news agency ANI.
The incident adds to the cases of violence on campus across the country. An Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur student was found dead in his hostel room last month. While the police had termed it a suicide case and his family alleged murder, the Calcutta High Court observed it could be a case of ragging.