Thursday, August 09, 2007

[CNN-IBN] Student commits suicide, college denies ragging

New Delhi: The Supreme Court's ban on ragging calling it a criminal offence is not acting as a deterrent in many colleges.

A first year student of the Government Medical College in Chandigarh killed himself on Sunday. His parents say he was ragged by his seniors which led to his suicide.

The student, Manjot Singh, was a resident of Amritsar, studying in the Government Medical College and Hospital, located at Sector 32 in Chandigarh.

Manjot's parents say he had called them up from his college and said that he was "very upset" and would be coming back home soon.

Manjot returned home the very next day and on Sunday his parents found him dead in his bed. They say that he had "ingested some poisonous substance".

"Later, friends of Manjot told us he underwent severe ragging in college and then went into a depression," Manjot's father, Milap Singh said.

They have demanded a high-level probe into the incident.

The college authorities though have not yet initiated any action and say that they will take action only after a proper investigation is conducted into the incident.

The police too have not yet registered a case, as they have not received formal complaint from Manjot's parents.

Manjot's body was cremated without a post mortem.

Meanwhile, the Director of the college, H M Swami, claims it was the boy's psycholgical state of mind that drove him to suicide.

"We came to know that he killed himself after being ragged only from the media. We had never received any complaints from the family or the boy regarding ragging or anything like that. It seems as if the boy was suffering from some psychological illness, which is why he committed suicide," Swami said.

Swami explained that Manjot -- who was ranked 38 in the All-India Pre-Medical and Pre-Dental Examination and was staying in the college hostel. He had given his first choice as Maulana Azad Medical College in Delhi but was "rejected as he was colour-blind".

Manjot was then referred to PGIMER in Chandigarh, which said his case was not that serious and he could be admitted.

Swami said he suspected that Manjot may have been unhappy due to non-selection in the Delhi college.

However, this theory seems baseless by the fact that many other students of the college have come forward since and complained about being ragged by their seniors.

And instances of ragging are not limited up north; the University of Hyderabad has woken up to ragging as well.

The University has decided to crack the whip on pranksters and this, in spite of the absence of an anti-ragging cell. Any instances of ragging will now come under the purview of the disciplinary cell.

Security guards will also be deputed at the hostels, where most instances of ragging are reported.

(With inputs from PTI)

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