Monday, June 05, 2006

Abu Ghraib style ragging rocks Uttaranchal

From Shishir Prashant DH News Service Dehra Dun:

Lying in a hospital bed, Deepak Kamboj is convalescing from the injuries inflicted on him during ragging in a university here. “I don’t know whether I will be able to go back to the university again,” a dazed Kamboj said. Kamboj’s fear is not baseless as the University of Petroleum and Energy Studies (UPES), where the incident took place recently, has not only suspended him but also banned his entry to the campus.
Kamboj was one of the four victims, who were beaten black and blue during ragging by seniors. Like Kamboj, other students have not attended classes for the last one week after they were paraded naked by seniors belts around their necks in what is being described as a scene straight from the Abu Ghraib jail in Iraq. They were dragged and forced to walk like dogs. “We were virtually treated like the prisoners at Abu Ghraib jail,” said Vishal Singh, who was also thrashed in full view of the girl students inside the classroom. “We were thrashed for nearly an hour,” said another student Rishabh Sharma. Instead of taking any action against the culprits, the university authorities lodged an FIR against Kamboj’s father Vinod Kamboj alleging that he had trespassed on the campus without prior permission. Police too seem to have acted in a whimsical manner and arrested Vinod Kamboj for allegedly assaulting students of the varsity. “We have arrested Vinod for beating up the varsity students,” confirmed DIG Garhwal R S Meena. The incident on Friday rocked the Vidhan Sabha and Opposition members led by Trivendra Singh Rawat (BJP) demanded a high-level inquiry. Minister for Technical Education Hira Singh Bist promptly ordered an inquiry and said the police are also looking into the incident. “We will not spare anyone guilty,” Bist said.

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