Wednesday, October 03, 2007

[CNN-IBN] Seniors throw student off fourth floor in Agra hostel

New Delhi: In what could be yet another case of campus rage in the country, a student of Anand Engineering College in Agra was allegedly thrown off the fourth floor of the hostel building after being ragged by his seniors on Tuesday night.

The boy, Abdul Inam, has been admitted to a hospital with both his legs plastered. He was unconsciousness for a while before he could relate the incident.

"I was thrown off the building and I managed to hold on to a wall. I was ragged on September 14, 15 and 17 after which I ran home, " said Inam.

Inam's parents have also alleged that his seniors had tried to strangle him.

"My son told me that there were four boys who first beat him up then threw him from the balcony. He told us earlier also that there were some guys who used to ask him for money," Inam's father said.

Police has started investigation but a case hasn't been filed as yet.

"We got information that some college boys threw Abdul from the second or third floor of the building. We are trying to trace them," said SHO of Thana Sikandra, Agra, Rajesh Kumar.

"We spoke to the family of the victim, they have accused some boys of the college. We are trying to speak to the college authorities. The boy is still unconscious, the truth should come out once he regains consciousness. Investigations are on," he added.

Despite a Supreme Court ruling against ragging in educational institutes, numerous cases of ragging have been reported from educational institutions across the country.

Ragging: A menace

In Lucknow, a 22-year-old student of a private management institute, Sanjay Pal Singh, is being treated for psychosis after being repeatedly tortured by his seniors in the name of harmless ragging.

Harassed, stripped and beaten by other students of the private hostel he was staying in, Sanjay finally had a breakdown last month.

In Ahmedabad, two postgraduate medical students at the V S Hospital were suspended in August this year after they were accused of ragging a junior. Tarek Patel and Prakash Sharda, allegedly beat up their junior, Dr Mittal Dave.

This is not the first incident of ragging reported from V S Hospital. Several students have reportedly dropped out after being ragged by their seniors.

School or college, obscure institute or prestigious IITs and IIMs, ragging has become a menace.

In 2003, over a hundred new students or ‘freshers’ were stripped naked and paraded in the corridors of IIT Delhi’s Kumaon Hostel.

P M Bhandari, the director of Samrat Ashok Technological Institute (SATI) in Vidisha, Madhya Pradesh, says ragging creates a revenge mentality among victims. “Once a student is harassed he tries to get revenge in later years,” says Bhandari.

Hostel space is considered to be a completely private domain. The biggest mistake a fresher can make is to complain to authorities, like the warden or the principal, who are considered outsiders.

Ragging cases are increasing because of this don’t-snitch mentality. Andhra Pradesh has reported the highest number of ragging cases (23) in the last years out: 21 cases were made public a landmark Supreme Court ruling on ragging in 2001.

In UP, 21 out of 22 cases have come in the last six years. In West Bengal 19 ragging cases have been reported after the 2001 ruling.

The common excuse for ragging is that it helps break the ice between students but that argument is now considered indefensible and the Supreme Court has forbade the practice.

Some campuses now ‘break the ice’ between students through induction programmes and counselling. IIT Kanpur has a proactive induction programme that makes new students feel at home, not humiliated.

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