Police have registered a case against a cadet of the National Cadet Corps (NCC) after a viral video showed him mercilessly thrashing some junior cadets during a physical training session at a college in Maharashtra’s Thane city, an official said on Saturday.
The case was registered against the student under Indian Penal Code (IPC) Section 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) at the Thane Nagar police station on Friday night after the police took suo motu cognisance of the matter, he said.
The action was taken on the day several student unions protested outside the college, while Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar assured the state legislative assembly that the issue would be probed and necessary steps taken.
The incident took place at Joshi Bedekar College in Thane. The college management said that it has suspended the student, whose act of beating his fellow NCC cadets during the physical training session on a rainy day was filmed by another student.
The video that went viral on Thursday sparked public outrage.
The viral video showed eight cadets in a puddle amid the rain with their heads pinned in the muddy soil instead of using their hands for support. The senior NCC cadet is seen standing behind them, holding a stick, and whacking each of them one by one for failing to execute his challenging drill.
The cadets are seen in a push-up position in a water-logged area with their feet and heads touching the ground and hands folded above the back. When a cadet changes posture, the senior student is seen thrashing him with a stick and going on to thrash others too.
As the video surfaced on social media, several student unions and political parties, including the Shiv Sena (UBT), Congress, and the Shiv Sena led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, protested outside the college on Friday.
Nitin Landge of the Shinde group’s student wing said the NCC cadets who were on the receiving end and their parents are under extreme pressure from the college management to not complain against the senior.
The college must take the incident seriously and lodge a police complaint, he said.
Members of the student wing of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) submitted a memorandum to the college management demanding strict action against the senior student.
Policemen were deployed at the spot to prevent the protesters from barging into the college.
Opposition leader in the assembly, Vijay Wadettiwar, on Friday raised the issue in the House. Speaker Rahul Narwekar directed the government to take action.
Deputy CM Ajit Pawar assured the House that strict action would be taken against the culprits. Former CM Prithviraj Chavan also sought action against the person responsible under the anti-ragging law.
The NCC also came out with a statement, saying what is seen in the viral video is “neither a reflection of the NCC ethos nor a part of any organized training or activity”.
Joshi Bedekar College in Thane operates the NCC unit along with two other sister concerns, Bandodkar College and VPM Polytechnic. The student, who belonged to Bandodkar College, has been suspended.