NEW DELHI – Indian police are interrogating students and security personnel in relation to a violent attack on Ali Hasan Raza — a student from Pakistan at the Pondicherry University.
Cases have also been registered under Indian Penal Code sections 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint) and 448 (punishment for house trespass), according to police. The police believe the attack may have been the result of mistaken identity.
“We suspect that the attackers might have mistaken him for someone,” investigating officer Sub-Inspector V Sivakumar said. The police said most students had vacated the hostel as their exams were over. However, the attack was likely carried out by those who stayed on in the hostel.
Raza was assaulted by three unidentified men in his room at the Sir CV Raman Hostel. The group of men reportedly crept up on him while he was sleeping and then beat him with iron rods and liquor bottles. The student sustained injuries on his head, neck and back.
The 24-year-old was severely wounded and is being treated at the Pondicherry Institute of Medical Science (PIMS) and the Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER). During treatment, Raza said the attackers were his age and may be students of the university.
Raza was doing a post-graduate course in South Asian studies. He is the first and only Pakistani student in the Pondicherry University. In response to the attack, the Student Federation of India (SFI) secretary A Anand voiced concern over the incident and said the university must take all measures to bring the perpetrators of the attack to justice. The university also issued new restrictions on entries to the hostel.