The 21-year-old student of R.V.S. College, killed in a ghastly manner in the city, may have had links with criminals which finally cost him his life, suspect the police. The gruesome murder of the college student turns the harsh spotlight on how crime shadows the seemingly serene college campuses in Coimbatore.
Police records reveal a shocking increase in college youth taking to crime. Especially, engineering college students are increasingly getting involved in assaults, robbery and attempts to murder.
On July 24, the car and two-wheeler of R.V.S. Ayurveda College principal, P.T. Chacko, was set on fire at his house at Olumbus, near Ramanathapuram, apparently after he pulled up four students.
The police suspect students’ hand behind the crime.
On July 22, three engineering college students, S. Harrish (20) of Kulithalai, S. Manikandan (19) of Thanjavur, S. Bhuvaneswaran (19) of Kulithalai, all studying third-year Electrical and Electronics Engineering (EEE), gagged and tied up an elderly woman at Vellakinar Pirivu and robbed her gold jewels. The students had committed the daring robbery to lead a life of luxury, the police said.
According to Prof A.Alagarsamy, head, Department of Social Work, and district organiser, Youth Red Cross (YRC) of Sri Krishna Arts and Science College, most of the college students who take to crime suffer from single parent syndrome.
Either one of their parents are dead or they are separated. “Lack of care and love at home drives them into the company of bad friends.” It starts with addiction to cigarattes, then liquor and ends up in crime.
“Most of the outstation students rent out rooms outside the college campus, stay with their friends and college seniors. They get addicted to drugs and start stealing to buy drugs and drinks,” says Dr B.L. Shivakumar of MCA department of Sri Ramakrishna Engineering College. “As engineering seats are falling vacant, colleges do not even check the academic credentials or the behavioural profile of the students. For the sake of money, they are admitting alcoholics and drug addicts who vitiate the tranquil atmosphere on the campuses,” rues a senior academic.