Kerala to provide aid, job to Dalit ragging victim

Kerala to provide aid, job to Dalit ragging victim

Kozhikode, July 2 (IANS) Kerala will provide financial and other help as well as a job to K.P. Aswathi, the Dalit girl who fell seriously ill after being allegedly ragged at a nursing college in Karnataka, a minister said on Saturday.

“We have given her Rs two lakh. We will meet all her medical expenses and ensure she continues her studies in a nursing college here,” Minister for Welfare of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Backward Classes A.K. Balan told reporters here.

“Once she passes, will give her a job too,” said Balan after visiting Aswathi at a state-run hospital here.

Aswathi, 19, and the four girls who allegedly ragged her hail from Kerala and were studying in Al Qamar College of Nursing at Gulbarga in Karnataka.

The Karnataka Police has so far arrested three girls — Lakshmi, Athira and Krishnapriya — who have been accused of forcing Aswathi to drink a disinfectant on May 9 in their college hostel, resulting in damage to her internal organs.

Another accused, Shilpa Jose, is absconding and her plea for anticipatory bail is posted for hearing on July 8 by the Kerala High Court.

Meanwhile, the relatives of the arrested students have told the media that their children are innocent. They said Aswathi drank the liquid on her own to take her own life as a result of issues other than her relationship with the accused.

The administration of the nursing college also reportedly said that ragging was not the cause of Aswathi’s illness and that the accused actually who took her to a hospital in Karnataka and took care of her.

Aswathi was admitted in the hospital here on June 2.

The FIR in the case was filed in Kozhikode on June 22. The police in Kozhikode then sought Karnataka Police’s help in acting on the FIR.

A nine-member team of Karnataka Police officials took the victim’s statement and has presented the report to a court in Gulbarga.

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