Saturday, August 11, 2007

[IE] Ragging in Hooghly: student, parent beaten up

Suman Ranjan Das was thrashed for nearly two hours; when his father tried to save him, he too, was targetted

Express News Service

Kolkata, August 10: The Indian Institute of Technology may have come up with a detailed checklist of what consitutes ragging, but the smaller institutions in and around the city are yet to wake up to this menace. A month after a student from Kanpur was mercilessly beaten up and left for dead by his seniors at the Indian Indian Institute of Hotel Management, another youth also shared nearly the same fate in the backyard of the state capital.

Suman Ranjan Das (18), a mechanical engineering student of Guptipara Saroj Mohan Institute of Technology, Hooghly, is now recuperating at the M R Bangur Hospital. His seniors had beaten him up for a good two hours. Not only that, they even assaulted his father.

Lying on the hospital bed with injuries in his head, neck, legs and chest, Suman, a resident of 5/34 Rajendra Prasad Colony near Golf Tower, said: “For two hours, around 40 students of the third and fourth year beat me up. When my father came to my rescue, they did not even spare him. He has suffered injuries on his right leg and head. No one from the college administration or teachers came forward to help us. Later, my father somehow managed to bring me out of the college with the help of Rajib Das, owner of the mess where I was supposed to stay.”

The incident occurred at 11.15 am, Suman said. The first class of the first day had barely started when some seniors came and called him out.

He was ragged verbally and allowed to go. But barely had he reached the class, when the seniors came back in a bigger group, called him out, took him to a corner and started beating him up. When they left, Suman called his father. But within minutes, the gang came back again and the thrashing started afresh.

Sankar Ranjan Das said his son was was to return home by 3:30 pm. But in the noon, he got a call. It was his son, asking for help.

“I immediately rushed to the college and found 50 to 60 students mercilessly beating up my son. When I went to save him, I was also beaten up,” he said.

Rajib Das told Newsline: “When Suman’s father asked me for help, I drove to the college and managed to bring the father-son duo out of the college premises. I was surprised to see that the director and principal of the college were watching the incident as mere spectators.”

Sankar Das, who works in a private company at Lake Road, said: “After the Supreme Court directive against ragging in academic institutions, I thought my son would be safe in the college. But I was wrong. Although Supreme Court has recommended that every institute has to set an anti-ragging squad, there was no such body in this institute.”

Director of the institute, N K Singh, however, said that this was not a case of ragging. “Suman had initiated the scuffle with his seniors as he had beaten up some of them. We will form a committee to inquire into the matter,” Singh said.

Sankar Das has lodged an FIR at Jadavpur Police Station today. “Though ideally this should be a case of Balagarh Police Station, we have received the complaint considering the gravity of the incident. We have started investigating the matter jointly with our counterparts at Balagar,” said a senior officer of Jadavpur Police Station.

SP Hooghly, Rajiv Mishra, said: “This is a serious incident. We will look into the matter and act accordingly. If the accused are identified and proved guilty, severe action would be taken against them.”

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