Sunday, April 22, 2007

[IndiaENews] One injured as student opens fire over ragging

An undergraduate student was injured when a senior student of the college opened fire on the campus of an engineering college here Saturday.

Mukarram Ali Siddiqui, a first-year student of Deccan Engineering College, was injured when second year student, Mohammed Umeedullah Khan opened fire on students.

Doctors said the condition of Siddiqui, who received two bullets in the legs, was stable.

Khan allegedly fired six to seven round from his .32 revolver. The incident is seen as a sequel to the rivalry between two groups of students over a ragging incident.

Khan was arrested and police were trying to find out how he managed to obtain the gun.

According to the college management and students, Khan was notorious for ragging junior students on the campus and had even been suspended from the college in February this year. His suspension was revoked recently.

The incident took place in the afternoon. The college is located on the campus of Darussalam, the headquarters of political party Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM).

Eyewitnesses said that Khan suddenly appeared brandishing the revolver. He fired five rounds as other students, who were collecting hall tickets for the examinations, watched in disbelief. They said MIM legislator Afasr Khan and others caught the assailant and handed him over to police.

The incident led to panic in the area and the campus was closed.

'He was involved in several incidents of ragging on the campus and used to threaten others with dire consequences,' said a student on condition of anonymity.

The college is one of several educational institutions run by the Darrusalam Education Trust of MIM, which is headed by former Member of Parliament Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

[NewIndPress] 12 students suspended for ragging

Friday April 20 2007 14:31 IST

BALANGIR: The allegation of ragging by a second year student of the Government Ayurvedic College here has led to the suspension of 12 senior students.

Principal of the college J Nath on Wednesday took the action after Narayan Mohanty, a senior professor of the college, who inquired into the allegation, found the students guilty. The 12 students, however, were not rusticated.

Bhagya Ranjan Dash, the second-year student of the college, informed the principal that some senior students were torturing him physically and mentally.

Bhagya, who hails from Balasore, also said he was assaulted in his classroom. Following the allegation, a meeting of the staff council was held on April 7.

Mohanty, in his report, said: "First, the students who indulge in ragging should be served a warning, then suspended and after that expelled. And even after that, if they don't mend their ways, police action should be initiated."

The principal said the 12 students have been suspended for a stipulated time period. They would be recalled if they mend their ways.

"Earlier, I had warned them but it failed to yield results," he added.

[KeralaOnline] SME ragging case: SC stays HC verdict

New Delhi: The Supreme Court here on Friday stayed the order of the Kerala High Court allowing all the accused in the School of Medical Education(SME) ragging case back to college.

The case is in connection with the alleged sexual assault on a first year nursing student by the six of the accused students in the name of ragging and an attempt to destroy evidence and engaged in criminal conspiracy to cover up the incident by three accused.

The case was registered on November 12, 2005 and the investigation was reportedly completed within 65 days.

The first six of the accused were charge sheeted under sections 376 (2g), 342, 354, 366(a), 328 and 506(2) of Indian Penal Code.

In addition, the accused were charge sheeted under provisions of the anti-ragging act also.

Meanwhile, the SME principal, director and head of the Department of Psychiatry were charge sheeted under sections 120(b), 201, 202 and 218.

Friday, April 20, 2007

[GK] Senior Junior harmony


“Seniors”-a term evoking mixed feelings: people ahead of you, your elders, demanding your respect, seeking your attention; but more than that, people who have been there before you, whose advice, love, and wise counsel helps and guides you, and when they leave the place, they leave with some memories unforgettable.

Seniors- ‘people to whom the juniors’ are seen hawking to for the previous years notes, or asking about the pattern of questioning of a particular teacher, or topics of importance and topics to overlook, or how to flatter a teacher, or what books to consult – they are the junior’s second teachers to everything.

Seeking admission in the University of Kashmir is a dream nourished by every student of our state, and so was it for me. It seems like yesterday – coming to this University and being ragged by the seniors’. Ragging as an interactive session between the seniors’ and the juniors’ wherein they get to know each other, blurring the line that separates them, is encouraging for the juniors’. However ragging also has an ugly side. There have been instances where the juniors’ have been maltreated by their seniors’ inasmuch that they stopped attending their classes and in the most extreme cases, committed suicide. Such incidents, instead of generating a comfort level between the two parties, initiate a fear psychosis in the juniors’. What needs to be understood is that the attitude of seniors’ in shaping the juniors’ is profound. They, on one hand can give direction, awareness, information, and knowledge to their juniors’, but on the other hand, can misguide them as well.

Bisma, a post-graduate student of English department on being asked if she was ragged by her seniors said, ‘‘I was so nervous that I could not utter a single word except for my name, but this did not irritate my seniors’, and instead they let me go. My seniors’ are really very helpful, and I in was helpful to my juniors’.”

Help and a few words of encouragement is what the junior’s need, but they don’t always get it. Here I can mention the experience opposite to it. A student from another department narrated his harrowing experience with his senior’s while being ragged by them. ‘‘After receiving a slap from one of my seniors’ on the very first day I joined my department I didn’t attend my classes for almost 15 days, and even now, when many months have gone by since that incident occurred, I feel the same trepidation on seeing that guy as I felt on that day.” Another student Muzaffer puts in, ‘‘I was made to do things that I was not comfortable doing, but had to do, for fear of the seniors’.”

Incidents such as these instead of bridging the gap between the seniors’ and juniors’ increase the rift between them. But there have been instances of good friends being made after an exchange of violence. Says Ishfaq, ‘‘When I refused to do what my seniors’ were asking me to do, I received two tight slaps from one of my seniors’. But now that guy has become my friend and he is the only one among my seniors who helps me whenever I need some guidance. Maybe the juniors’ should understand that it is their duty to respect the seniors.”

Respecting the seniors’ is what the juniors’ really need to understand and accept. After all it is the seniors’ whose guidance is something the juniors’ can’t do without. They teach the juniors’ how to bear the increasing pressures of the teachers’, a pressure that burns chunks of coals into diamonds. They inspire their junior’s by their aims and aspirations. After all it is with the seniors’ that the juniors’ have fun, share joys and sorrows – perhaps the most memorable days of their lives…..

Let juniors and seniors experience the joy of studying together. No need to be antagonistic. Joining hands will ensure a harmonious relation which lasts for good. Even if you are not physically together but you are bonded by some moments you love to remember. So why hate, why rag why not be friends.

(Syed Tania Andrabi is Second Semester student of Media Education Research Centre(MERC), University of Kashmir. She can be mailed at

Sunday, April 15, 2007

[GK] KU wears festive look as freshers arrive

Srinagar, Apr 13: With the classwork for new entrants in different postgraduate courses about to begin in the Kashmir University, the campus wears a festive look these days. While freshers are seen busy in completing the admission formalities in their concerned departments, their seniors are busy in trying to corner them for introduction. “They (seniors) told me to introduce myself along with the family background,” said Zaffar, a fresher at the Political Science department. “The next day, I was cornered by all seniors and asked to sing a Kashmiri song.”

Zaffar is seconded by scores of other freshers as well. “I was asked to introduce myself in Kashmiri. And when I fumbled, the seniors asked to imitate a fisherwomen,” said Sana (name changed), a fresher from the Sociology department.

The seniors from some departments have also planned to organize special sessions for their freshers where they intend to seek a “comprehensive introduction” from the newcomers. “Once the classwork will begin, we are planning to call all our juniors to one spot and seek their introduction,” said Wahid, a final year student at the Media Education and Research Centre (MERC). “Meeting together is the only way we come to know each other.”

Pertinently, the university’s Naseem Bagh-which wears a festive look with the onset of spring-is playing a host to such events. The seniors and juniors are seen together in big groups, introducing each other amid sipping tea and soft drinks. “We don’t do any ragging here. It’s just an introduction,” a group of seniors from Law Department said. “We simply ask them (juniors) to introduce themselves completely; we don’t ask them to perform any vulgar acts.”
However, newcomers from some departments allege the seniors are “harsh” to them and “resort to ragging.”

“We were asked to measure the ground with a 25 paisa coin,” some freshers told Greater Kashmir. “We have no problem in introducing ourselves but it’s unfair when our seniors ask us to act like fisherwomen,” they added.

Though the varsity’s proctorial wing has not received any complaints of ragging so far, the officials have already geared up to anti-ragging campaign, if any. “We have already pasted some posters inside the university which carry the phone numbers of officials of the proctorial wing. If any student is harassed, we’ll initiate action against him,” an official at the Chief Proctor’s office said.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

[ToI] Students clash over ragging

Rahul Tripathi
[ 8 Apr, 2007 0229hrs IST TIMES NEWS NETWORK ]

NEW DELHI: The Jor Bagh Market witnessed a clash involving some students of the Vasant Kunj and Sohna branches of GD Goenka Public School on Friday evening. One group, allegedly carrying a pistol, fled the spot leaving the weapon behind, said the police.

The Lodhi Colony Police Station has registered a case under the Arms Act on the complaint of a Class XII student of Vasant Kunj branch, Mahesh Kumar (the names of all the students have been changed to protect their identities).

Kumar told police that his friend, Abhishek Verma, who was earlier a student at Vasant Kunj branch, had taken a transfer to the Sohna branch in Gurgaon where he was allegedly ragged by Class XII student Santosh Lall and others. Verma complained to Kumar, who said he would take care of the matter.

"After Kumar's intervention, Lall promised he won't rag Verma but Verma was again ragged by Lall and his friends the very next day," said a senior police officer.

Kumar called up Lall once again and the two decided to meet at the Jor Bagh market on Friday evening. "Lall, accompanied by three others, came to the spot near Lodhi Colony where Mahesh Kumar, along with three of his friends, was waiting for them," the officer added.

The meeting soon turned violent and the two groups hurled abuses at each other. According to the complaint filed by Kumar, one of the boys who accompanied Santosh Lall took out a .32 pistol.

"We got scared but the pistol fell from his hand and the four immediately fled from the spot," Kumar said in his complaint.

Later, he along with other friends went to Lodhi Colony police station where a case of Arms Act was registered. The police said so far no one has been arrested and they are verifying Kumar's version. The police have also contacted other students, including the one who was allegedly carrying the pistol.

Lall, however, told Times City that he was not present on the spot and Kumar and his friends had come with the pistol.

When contacted, a spokesperson of G D Goenka School, Major K Sharma, said none of the students involved in the clash were from the school.

However, the police said the complainant and the main accused are studying in the school. Despite repeated efforts, the principal of the school, Devti Chandran, was could not be reached for comment.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

[Telegraph] Dad wants CID probe into death

Cooch Behar, April 6: The unnatural death of Pallab Biswas, a first-year student of Uttar Banga Krishi Viswavidyalay, on April 1 took a new turn today with his father threatening to go to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) with the claim that his son was a victim of ragging.

Pallab’s body was fished out of the Torsha at Madhupurdham-Hanskhawa, 8 km from the university campus, where he and eight other fellow-students had reportedly gone to bathe.

“I have sent the complaint through courier to the Cooch Behar police superintendent and to the inspector-in-charge of Kotwali police station today. I will personally hand over the complaint to the CID in Calcutta on Monday,” said Pallab’s father, Bibhas Biswas over phone from Calcutta.

Bibhas, a sub-inspector at the Beniapukur police station in Calcutta, added that he has named eight batchmates of Pallab in his complaint.

Pallab’s maternal uncle, Prosen Biswas, who lives in Palasipara in Nadia district, said over phone: “We suspect that those eight boys had planned to murder Pallab. It will be plain once they are interrogated. Pallab was being ragged and the other boys had taken away his mobile phone to prevent him from speaking to his mother.”

He said those boys had even had an argument with Pallab’s mother. “We believe that he was deliberately drowned and later the boys claimed that it was an accident,” Prosen said.

Bibhas said Pallab had called up his mother a few days before his death. “He told her to come over and look for a rented place for him as staying in the hostel was becoming unbearable,” he said.

The sub-inspector added that his son could not have drowned in knee-deep water. “When we went to the spot — where Pallab had drowned — with three of the boys, we found the water level in the Torsha to be very low and the boys, too, failed to explain exactly what had happened,” Bibhas said.

The registrar of the agricultural university, Biman Sarkar, on the other hand, said they have had no complaints of ragging this year. “In 2005, we received a letter from the chief minister’s secretariat after a complaint of ragging was lodged there and since then there has been no cases of ragging here,” he said.

“And the boys under the scanner are in the same year as Pallab, so how does the question of ragging crop up?” the registrar asked.

District superintendent of police Anil Kumar said an investigation is on.

[Hindu] Anti-ragging panel seeks more time

Parul Sharma

For filing its report on how to contain the menace

NEW DELHI: The anti-ragging committee set up by the Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry to look into the nuisance of ragging has sought more time to finalise its report.

The Committee, which was to submit its report to the Supreme Court by Wednesday, will now do so by April-end or the first week of May.

"We travelled a lot during this time and spoke to a lot of people. We got an overwhelming response. We have to finalise the draft now. In all fairness to those opinions, we will compile and analyse them carefully and then reach a conclusion. This will require some time and so we have sought an extension," said a member of the Committee on Thursday.

The Committee had travelled across various cities to garner public opinion on the issue of ragging.

Another member, Delhi University's Ramjas College Principal Rajender Prasad, said: "We received some 20,000 responses to our questionnaire. We will need time to tabulate the data. This should take about 10-15 days."

Former Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director R. K. Raghavan heads the seven-member Committee. The Supreme Court last November directed the HRD Ministry to constitute a committee to look into the issue of ragging in colleges.

The terms of reference of the Committee include studying the various aspects of ragging, means and methods of preventing it, possible actions that can be taken against those who indulge in it and action against colleges and university authorities in the event of ragging.

Other members of the Committee are: Director of IIT (Kanpur) S. G. Dhande; Dean of Maulana Azad Medical College A. K. Agarwal; Vice-Chancellor of SNDT Women's University (Mumbai) Chandra Krishnamurthy; and former Vice-Chancellor of Madras University S. Sathikh. The Joint Secretary in the Department of Education, Sunil Kumar, is the Member- Secretary of the Committee.

[HT] War Against Ragging on Net

This was published on the 7th page of The Hindustan Times, Delhi Edition (Apr 6, 2007)
The online version can be accessed through HT-Epaper

THREE YOUNG Indians, one of them a ragging victim, are waging a unique war against ragging in institutions of education on the Net. The voluntary group - Coalition to Uproot Ragging from Education or CURE - started by the trio carried out an online research on instances of ragging reported in leading Indian dailies and have analysed the kind of torture youngsters are made to undergo.

The research was carried out on the basis of data pertaining to the period between January 2005 and December 2006. Within this period 64 cases of ragging reported by leading newspapers and news channels were identified. Of these 61 were reported from colleges and three from schools. The kind of ragging the students were subjected could be ascertained only in 41 cases.

Of these 41 cases, 8 were subjected to sexual ragging, while another 5 were subjected to both physical and sexual ragging. Another 25 were subjected to physical ragging, while only 2 underwent verbal ragging. "But remember that in the case of 21, the cause could not be ascertained. We found that 11 deaths took place due to ragging, another 10 attempted suicide, while 23 were injured," said Harsh Aggarwal, one of the members of the group.

According to the findings of the group, 12 suffered an adverse effect on their mental health while 5 left the college following ragging. Of the 51 colleges identified where the cases of ragging were reported, 18 were from engineering institutions, 9 from medical colleges and 5 from polytechnics and 19 from architecture colleges.

Aggarwal himself was ragged brutally by his seniors at an Allahabad medical college in 2000. He was forced to leave medical school and wage a twoyear legal battle to bring the guilty to book. "Nothing could be done though because of the there are no designated bodies that handle cases of ragging. I started looking for other avenues of seeking redressal for ragging victims, when I chanced up on the Yahoo! Group started by IIT (Bombay) student Mohit Garg and NSIT scholar Varun Aggarwal," said Aggarwal.

CURE started as a Yahoo! group The No Ragging Group. "Varun and I were in engineering college and concerned about the ragging happening around us and the total lack of concern of people about it. It was merely seen as rites of growing up. We decided to research the topic as offering individual help was beyond our capability We used to get messages from places like Bihar from students seeking help as they were being ragged," said Garg.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

28 Kashmiris students in judicial remand in B’lore


Srinagar, Apr 4: The Kashmiri students studying in Bangalore’s prestigious Ghousia Engineering College who were arrested following clashes with their Bihari counterparts four days ago have been sent to judicial remand till April 16.
The arrests have deeply worried the students’ parents who staged massive demonstrations here Wednesday demanding immediate release of their wards.
Reports said at least 17 Kashmiri students from the Ghousia college, many of them injured, and 11 from other educational institutions of Bangalore, have been lodged in the Bangalore Central Jail.
The students of the Ghousia College Ramnagran, located 60 km from Bangalore, had a minor altercation after a senior Bihari student Zaqir Anwar reportedly abused his juniors (the Kashmiris) with an intention of ragging. “However, on April 2, four Kashmiri students of the college brought 7-8 Kashmiri students from outside the campus to avenge the harassment,” reports said.
“They assaulted Fahim and Muneer (Bihari students) with sticks and cricket bats causing minor injuries to them. Two Kashmiri students of the college were also injured,” they said.
On the complaint of the principal of the college, a case under sections 147, 148, 448 and 324) was registered against 11 Kashmiri students of the college and some unidentified persons.
On the same evening, nearly 200 Bihari students of the college, shouting slogans against the Kashmiri students blocked the traffic on Mysore-Bangalore road for nearly an hour.
Police used mild lathicharge to disperse the agitating students who’re demanding action against the Kashmiri students. Later a case was registered against the agitating students.
On the complaint of a Kashmiri student Shujaat Shahul that he and his colleagues were attacked by 13 Bihari students on April 2 near the Principal’s room after attending a compromise meeting, police registered another case under sections 143, 147, 146, 324, 506 of 149 IPC.
Following the incident, the college authorities declared five days holiday from April 3. Police launched a manhunt against four Kashmiri and some Bihar students allegedly involved in the clashes.
Deputy Superintendent of Police Ramanagran, Malika Arya Appa confirmed that 28 Kashmiri students and their Bihari counterparts have been remanded to judicial custody till April 16.
Mushtaq Ahmad who son Afaq is among the arrested said, “It is ironical that the Kashmiri students have been arrested for no fault and the Biharis who attacked them are scot-free. Bangalore police is bent upon implicating the Kashmiri students.”
Principal of the Ghousia College, Dr Muhammad Hanief blamed Kashmiri students for the clashes. “The Kashmiri students illegally entered the college with some outsiders in the evening and clashed with the Bihari students. As this was a law and order problem police rushed to the spot and arrested the trouble makers,” Dr Hanief told Greater Kashmir by phone from Bangalore.
When asked if it was not the responsibility of the college to get the students released, he said, “I can’t help. Law will take its own course.”
However, in an interview with a TV channel, Dr Hanief termed the incident as a “battle of supremacy.”
“This was not a new thing but things went a bit far this time. It happened all of a sudden; we had no other way to take the situation into control. Whoever is at fault will be punished irrespective of where they come from,” the news channel quoted him as saying.
The clashes between students from Kashmir and other north Indian states are apparently not uncommon in the Ghousia college, the news channel, monitoring the incident, reported on Wednesday.
“But the war of supremacy went a bit far on Monday evening when boys from Kashmir marched into the college premises and got into a scuffle with the north Indian students,” it said.
“The divide is evident; while unfortunately violence on campus is not rare in India, this is the first time that a situation has leapt out of control in an otherwise tolerant Bangalore,” it added.
Meanwhile, the parents of the detained students have appealed Prime Minister Manmoham Singh and Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad to intervene into the matter.
“We are not demanding any roads or bridges but release of our wards,” they said.

Arrested students
The arrested students of the Ghousia College are:
Shoaib Majid, Mehboob, Afaq Ahmad Mir of Budgam, Mudassir Ahmad Mir of Pampore, Asif Ai Sofi, Ejaz, Shujaat Rasool, Hanief Ahmad of Islamabad, Tasir Sajoor Mufti of Amdakadal, Khalid Danish, Muhammad Muzamil of Varmul, Nassir Khaliq, Nayeem Hamid of Sopur, Asif Altaf of Lal Bazaar, Arshad Safi of Budgam, Yasir Amin of Batamaloo, Mirza Yasir Baig of Jammu.
The arrested students of BBM Oxford Bangalore are:
Muzamil Muhammad of Gadpura Srinagar, Khalid Bhat of Peer Bagh Cooperative Lane, Adnan Manzoor of Islamabad, Zuhaib Muhammad of Soura, Umar Ganaie of Sanat Nagar, Sartaz Ali of Lal Chowk, and Sarjeel Ahmad of Budgam.
Tousif Ahmad of Zakura (AMC Engineering College), Suhail Ahmad of Lal Bazaar (employee LE Service Bangalore), Nazeesh of Bagh-e-Mehtab (student Dayanand Sagar College Bangalore) and Inayat of Shalimar Srinagar (Radhikrishna College Bangalore).

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

[Hindu] Severe ragging is very much prevalent: report

Parul Sharma

`Incidents swept under carpet to avoid embarrassment'

NEW DELHI: Many colleges across the country attempt to sweep incidents of ragging under the carpet to save themselves from embarrassment and prevent the institution's reputation from getting tarnished.

It is a myth that colleges are serious about preventing ragging and the fact is that their efforts fall "way short" of basic expectations in dealing with such incidents, says a report, "Ragging in India", compiled by voluntary organisation "Coalition to Uproot Ragging from Education" (CURE).

"In many violent cases, colleges have actually denied the incident, or worse, indicated that the fresher had initiated the altercation. The college authority prefers to deny ragging incident for face-saving at the cost of the freshers' trauma. Many colleges now try their best to keep the incident under wraps to save themselves from embarrassment," says the report.

The report is based on CURE's six years of experience in handling countrywide cases of ragging, though they began documenting their work last November.

The document also points out that ragging is not "harmless fun" as perceived by people and is more widespread in colleges where students stay in hostels, more so in professional institutions like engineering and medical colleges.

"In hostels a fresher is totally at the mercy of seniors with no support from family and friends. The problem magnifies at engineering and medical colleges, where students believe that they are the cream of society and it is their right to do socially unacceptable practices in the name of ragging," the report claims.

One of the chapters of the report titled "Social Perceptions: Debunking Prevalent Myths" asserts that it is a deception that severe ragging is not prevalent any more.

"Severe ragging is widely prevalent in most of the colleges which have hostels, be it smaller cities or the metropolitan ones... Nothing speaks louder than 25 cases of suicide due to ragging in the last seven years. After the Supreme Court judgment, colleges have just geared up to keep ragging incidents under the cover. The problem is not solved yet, it is just hidden," it says.

Reacting to the report, Delhi University's Sri Venkateswara College Principal A. Shankra Reddy said seniors of an institution must be involved in curbing ragging and other teasing incidents on the campus.

He admitted that though the University was taking "stringent" measures to prevent ragging, it continued in colleges that have hostel accommodation.

"The principals and the administration have been taking steps for the past two years in this direction. The security personnel have been increased, there is more police assistance and more and more student volunteers have been organised to contain ragging," said Dr. Reddy.

He maintained that in his College ragging was "absolutely zero" because each department separately held a meeting of seniors and juniors to encourage a healthy interaction between them.

"It is a myth that ragging helps in breaking the ice between seniors and freshers. Ragging is an archaic method of interaction with several harmful effects... It does not generate a feeling of unity and oneness as thought by many. It divides the students on the lines of caste, region and class. It sets up a mob mentality among the students," it says.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

[IE] Sexual harassment in college: No case registered yet

Jalandhar, April 2: The controversy in the sexual harassment case of students of St Soldier Therapy and Rehabilitation College in Jalandhar refuses to die down, as the police have yet to register a case against the alleged accused. The college has been closed for the past one week over the issue.

In a meeting of college authorities with the girl students, the college authorities have agreed to accept all the demands made by the students and have decided to suspend the head of the department.

The girl students had alleged ragging and said the authorities turned a deaf ear to their complaints. The four girls, namely Jyoti Anup Singh Sahota, Chander Rekha, Ujala Sonia and Monika, have also given a written complaint to the police against the alleged misbehaviour of the college staff and boy students.

DSP Jagmohan Singh, when contacted, said it is a college matter and it is for the management to take action.

Chairman of the college Anil Chopra said the college is closed for a week and the HoD has been suspended at the moment and further investigations are on to know who is the main culprit.

Jyoti, one of the complainants, said they have submitted another complaint to the police, mentioning the names of the boys who misbehaved with them and alleging that the college authorities, including the HOD, never took any action even after repeated complaints.

Monday, April 02, 2007

[Telegraph] Rs 1 lakh-plus ragging refund

New Delhi, March 30 (PTI): An engineering student who left college within three days of admission because of ragging will get a refund of his fees, the Delhi state consumer commission has ruled.

The Agra college, which had refused to return the fees, will also have to pay Deepak Chawala compensation and cough up a penalty. The refund and the compensation will total Rs 98,000. Another Rs 25,000 is to be deposited in the state consumer welfare fund as penalty, the consumer court ruled.

The commission bench headed by Justice J.D. Kapoor dismissed Anand Engineering College’s appeal, filed against a district consumer forum order directing it to refund the fees. It said the college’s argument that fees once paid cannot be returned was not maintainable as no one can be forced to pay without enjoying any service.

“The attitude of the appellant in this case was most reprehensible,” the commission said, awarding the compensation to Delhi resident Chawala.

The panel also accused the college of the “grossest kind of deficiency in service” for not “arresting the evil of ragging”.

Justice Kapoor said ragging “sometimes acts so heavily on the minds of students that there are instances when students have been driven to commit suicide”.

Chawala had taken admission to the Bachelor of Engineering course for the 2002-03 session. But he withdrew from the course after three days, unable to cope with ragging. He approached the college administration for a refund of his fees, but was turned down.

Chawala then moved the district consumer forum, which held the college guilty of deficiency in service and asked it to pay Rs 98,000 as compensation, including the refund.