Wednesday, August 08, 2007

[IE] ‘The seniors have taken ragging to the lowest levels’

Chandigarh, August 7: The first formal ‘interaction’ between senior students and first year MBBS students of Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, took an ugly turn on Monday, with the freshers feeling humiliated and scared.

According to the freshers, they were asked to abuse each other verbally, propose in vulgar manner and act obscenely. Girls were asked to dance to pelvic thrusts and boys had to ‘fly’ while verbally abusing themselves. And all this happened inside the college premises during the interaction session, they claimed.

“A dress code and wishing seniors is fine. But they have taken ragging to the lowest levels,” said a first year student, on conditions of anonymity. “This kind of ragging is banned by the Supreme Court but it has been happening since we joined on August 1,” he claimed.

The freshers added that ragging also goes beyond college hours. “For the last so many days the juniors are being taken to parks after 5 pm,” said a worried parent. “Boys are asked to lock lips with other boys, girls are asked to enact love scenes and much worse,” he claimed. “Our children have come home at nine in the night,” he added. He also said that the police had once caught them near Sector 36 park and once shopkeepers of Sector 33 market had complained.

The freshers claim that boys have also been asked to carry condoms to college as ID proof. Add to that the ragging in the boys’ hostel that goes unchecked from 2 pm to 6 am every night, they said.

Another worried parent claimed that the students had been threatened. “They have been warned against going to the authorities and complaining,” he said, adding that two seniors, Amrita and Kasish Dutta, had been giving juniors a tough time.

College officials, however, deny any such activities. “We have anti-ragging squads and a faculty/demonstrator is present during interaction,” said Dr Harsh Mohan, Medical Superintendent. However, on the second day of ‘interaction’ today, Dr Gurjit Kaur, Senior Lecturer, Physiology, had to intervene after the Director-Principal’s office received complains from parents. All third year students were banned from entering the room following this.

“Despite the presence of a demonstrator, a lot of unwanted things happened,” said another fresher. “He just sat and watched or ignored what was happening,” she said. The three-day ‘interaction’ session will continue till Wednesday.

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