Saturday, October 06, 2007

[IE] JU ragging: Student unions divided

Kolkata, October 05 Jadavpur University (JU) remained on tenterhooks today with students’ unions protesting against the ragging incident, in which five students were punished.

Though classes were not interrupted, tension prevailed on the campus throughout the day.

Representatives of Faculty of Engineering and Technology Students’ Union (FETSU) on Friday resigned from their respective posts. “As students’ representative, we cannot support ragging. We have, therefore, decided to step down,” said one of the representatives.

On the other hand, SFI representatives protested the FETSU’s stand on its decision to reprimand students for ragging.

Uttio Basu, SFI local committee secretary, said that since all the accused students are affiliated to the FETSU, it is putting pressure on JU authorities to let off their members.

Five students in the engineering department were punished for ragging a junior on Wednesday. Two of the accused — Chittaranjan Burma and Milton Baidya of the civil and mechanical engineering departments respectively — were suspended for the coming semester scheduled to begin from January 2008.

Kaji Imam Alam of the chemical engineering department and electronic engineering student Nilanjan Biswas were suspended from the hostel for a year.

The executive council, the university’s highest policy-making body, decided to punish the boys on the basis of a recommendation of the institution’s anti-ragging committee. A first-year student had lodged a complaint with the authorities in the third week of August, alleging that he had been subjected to ragging.

The complaint was forwarded to the anti-ragging committee, which held a month-long inquiry and found the five students guilty.

The FETSU members gheraoed the executive committee members when they were about to decide the penalty for the accused students. The students said that they were protesting against the exam regulations and the publication of the results of the supplementary examinations demanding them to be declared on time.

Rajat Bandopadhyay, Registrar of Jadavpur University, however, claimed that the punishment was nothing severe.

“We took the decision as it might act as a deterrent and the students will not repeat such actions in future,” added Bandopadhyay.

Following a Supreme Court order banning ragging in all educational institutions, the University Grants Commission had made it compulsory for all universities to set up panels to check ragging and bring offenders to book.

Bandopadhyay added that the university is deciding on having a separate hostel for each year.

“The students of all years will be separated and kept in different hostels. Their is a certain possibility of such decision in near future and we will take up the matter in executive committee meeting,” he said.

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