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Students protest outside college where NCC cadets were caned

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THANE, Aug 4 (PTI): A day after a viral video showed National Cadet Corps (NCC) cadets being mercilessly thrashed by a senior at a college in Maharashtra’s Thane city, student unions protested outside the institute, while in the state assembly, deputy CM Ajit Pawar said the issue will be probed and necessary action taken.

The NCC also came out with a statement, saying what is seen in the viral video is “neither a reflection of NCC ethos nor a part of any organised training or activity.”

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Opposition leader in the assembly, Vijay Wadettiwar, on Friday raised the issue in the House.

Speaker Rahul Narvekar directed the government to take action.

Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar assured the House that strict action will be taken against the culprits. Former CM Prithviraj Chavan also sought action against the person responsible under the anti-ragging law.

“The video being circulated on social media showing a cadet of NCC beating juniors, neither has any reflection of NCC ethos nor was it part of any organised NCC training or activity. We have no tolerance for such actions and strict action is being taken against the perpetrators,” NCC tweeted.

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Sudent groups affiliated with the Shiv Sena (UBT) and the Shiv Sena led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, who is also from Thane, demonstrated outside the Joshi Bedekar College where the incident took place.

The college management said it has suspended the student, who can be seen beating NCC cadets during a physical training session on a rainy day. A fellow student is believed to have filmed the thrashing.

Nitin Landge of the Shinde group’s student wing said the NCC cadets who were at 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.

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Members of the student wing of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) submitted a memorandum to the college management demanding strict action on the senior student.

Policemen were deployed at the spot to prevent the protesters from barging into the college.

The viral video, which sparked public outrage, showed eight cadets in a puddle amid 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.

The NCC instructor for this unit was transferred recently. Senior cadets taking over in the absence of teachers led to this incident, a university senate member said.

The 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.

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