Friday, August 31, 2007

[IE] GMCH suicide case: Police interrogate senior students

Chandigarh, August 29: A team of police officers today arrived at Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector-32 from Amritsar to investigate the alleged suicide of a student Manjot Singh. The officers recorded statements of 19 senior students who had been expelled from the hostel. They also questioned classmates of Manjot. Manjot committed suicide four days after joining college on August 1.

Surprisingly, Medical Superintendent Dr Harsh Mohan said that he was unaware of the visiting officials. This despite the fact that the officials arrived around noon today and had lunch at the hospital. Director Principal Dr HM Swami - in whose office the police team interrogated the students - refused to meet the media or comment on the investigations.

“It’s too early to say anything now. We will first talk to the students and analyse their statements,” said Sub Inspector Joginder Singh. While the names of the 19 senior students was provided by the college, the team asked to talk to seven first year students whose names had been provided to them by Manjot’s family.

“Manjot had given his father a few names. He said that on the first day the seniors kept him till 11 pm and on the second day the ragging went on till 2 am in the night. Initially we remained silent because we didn’t know what to do,” his uncle Sarabjeet said.

He also said that a few seniors had talked to him. “They were cooperative in the beginning. But now they are under pressure from the college and don’t take my calls,” said Sarabjeet. “Recording their statements in the presence of the college authorities is also of no use as they will not be allowed to speak the truth,” he said.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

[ToI] Panel to probe 'ragging' case

NAGPUR: The RTM Nagpur university has appointed a three-member committee to probe the alleged ragging of a political science student residing in the varsity’s hostel at Law College Square here.

Gulab Bawanthade on Sunday lodged a complaint against fellow inmate Usmankhan Habibkhan Pathan, accusing the latter of physical and mental torture.

Speaking to TOI, vice chancellor S N Pathan said a preliminary inquiry had been conducted by a two-member committee comprising hostel warden Arun Patil and registrar Subhash Belsare. On the basis of the preliminary inquiry, the university has lodged a formal police complaint.

"The preliminary report suggests that there was no incident of ragging, but it was personal feud between the two. Both of them were classmates while doing MA Marathi. However, the report also brought out some startling revelations that many unauthorised persons stay illegally in the hostel at the expense of these students and harass them," the vice chancellor said.

"Accused Usmankhan is one such person who stays illegally in the hostel and creates ruckus. He is not even an approved teacher of the university. The BPEd college, where he works is also not affiliated to the RTMNU," the VCstated.

The VC said the university’s legal counsel B G Kulkarni had advised him to conduct a detailed inquiry considering the seriousness of the incident. A three-member committee comprising an executive committee member, a dean and a principal would be set up on Tuesday.

"The panel would investigate the incident thoroughly and also hear the version of Hemraj Meshram, who is an eye-witness. His version along with Usmankhan’s would be crucial in the matter. The committee will submit a detailed report within eight days. Based on this report, further action will be taken," he said.

[Yahoo] 3 students complain of ragging

Monday August 27, 02:21 AM

THREE STUDENTS of Chatrapati Shahu Ji Maharaj (CSJM) Institute of Engineering and Technology lodged a complaint of ragging at the Kalyanpur police station here on Saturday.

When the police refused to register their complaint, over three-dozen students reached the Kalyanpur police station and raised slogans. A second-year student of B-Tech Arun Yadav of Ferozabad was going to the hostel from the institute with two first-year students Rahul Gupta and Shailendra Sahgal.

About half a dozen senior students of the institute intercepted them and directed Rahul and Shailendra to hit their heads with their own shoes. As Arun refused to follow the directives, the angry senior students started thrashing them ruthlessly. The victims managed to escape and contacted senior administrative authorities.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

[IE] Ragging: Cept takes action against students

Ahmedabad, August 25 Days after National Students Council of India (NSUI) made allegations against university authorities for not taking action against senior students for ragging other students, Cept University announced disciplinary action against its students except First Year students on Saturday.

Neelkanth Chhaya, Spokesperson of the university said, “The students who were interviewed said that everybody was responsible because of which we couldn’t take action against specific students.” He further said, “We interviewed more than 90 students and found that a social event was held in which students presented a skit, song and a dance. However, there was no coercion done by students in the event. “

In the findings of the Committee’s report that was discussed on Friday by the Executive Committee members before the students and their respective parents, the punishments were meted out separately to the students’ council members and students body. The present Students Council will be disbanded and members debarred from holding any office this academic year.

The Executive Council also decided to debar the students’ council members from prizes, if they are entitled for any, for this academic year apart from participating in social service.

The university has also charted out disciplinary action on students body of Cept undergraduate programmes, as per which they will have to perform social service through a ‘Community Environment Improvement Project’ at schools and hospitals that are deficient in facilities.

The university had set up a Committee to look after the allegations made by the NSUI of certain senior students ragging new-entrants in full knowledge of university authorities.

[Siasat] Four students held on charge of ragging

Guntur, August 24: The scourge of ragging raised its ugly head again in the city, when four final year degree students of Hindu College charged with ragging on Thursday by the Lalapet police.

Based on a complaint by the first year students of B.A, hailing from Tadikonda and the college management, the Lalapet police charged the four boys with ragging. The students were arrested and later produced in the fourth additional magistrate court. According to Lalapet Sub Inspector M. Hanumantha Rao, the four final year students, including one from B.Com, had been accused of forcing freshers to dance on the college premises and do other uncomfortable things, much against their will. Based on a complaint from the students, the police came to the college on Thursday. They paraded the students and let the first years identify the accused.

Later, the accused were taken into custody.


Friday, August 24, 2007

[NewIndPress] Ragging on BOSE campus, first year student injured

Thursday August 23 2007 11:04 IST

CUTTACK: Tension prevailed in Bhubanananda Orissa School of Engineering (BOSE) after a fresher was allegedly ragged by some seniors here on Wednesday. An FIR has been lodged with Mangalabag police station in this connection.

Sources said, Manoj Mallick, a first semester student of Information Technology stream was asked to come over to the room of one of his seniors where he was asked vulgar questions. As he resisted, his seniors allegedly hurled abuses at Manoj and even assaulted him physically after which he lost consciousness.

The incident led to tension on the campus. Manoj’s father Lakshmikanta Mallick, who belongs to Raghunathpur in Jagatsinghpur district, filed an FIR with police.

Three of Manoj’s seniors are absconding, police said.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

[DailyMirror] Dons and undergrads embroiled over ragging

By Kelum Bandara

The University Grants Commission (UGC) and the Inter University Students’ Federation (IUSF) are on a collision course over the need to implement the Anti- ragging Act introduced to stop freshers being subjected to ‘inhuman ragging’ in universities.

UGC Chairman Prof. Gamini Samaranayake told the Daily Mirror that ragging was taking place in universities to achieve political objectives and that parents had complained to him about their children being harassed under the guise of being ragged upon entrance.

Prof. Samaranayake said an undergraduate had been assaulted at the Applied Science Faculty of the Sabaragmuwa University recently.

“In one instance at the Peradeniya University the jaw of a student had been broken. In another case, ear drums of a student have been damaged after being slapped,” he said.

He said it was essential for the authorities to implement the Act passed in Parliament during the tenure of former Education Minister Richard Pathirana to arrest this dangerous trend in the university system.

However, the IUSF countered these arguments saying that the incident at Sabaragamuwa University was a total fabrication by the student concerned.

IUSF Convener Duminda Nagamuwa said this student distorted the facts to get a replacement at another university.

Mr. Nagamuwa said they also opposed ragging at universities and that they had been able to control the subjecting of freshers to any physical form of ragging.

“When they introduced the Act in 1998, we opposed such harsh laws and ragging. However, there is a sub-culture in the university system which cannot be changed overnight. It cannot also be changed according to the interests of a few persons,” he said.

He said they mobilize students for a common cause through ragging, and the government was averse to it.

“When undergraduates start agitations against the government, it talks about inhumane ragging. If we do not agitate they never discuss this issue,” he added.

Mr. Nagamuwa said a few students had already been arrested under the provisions in this Act.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

[Yahoo] Ragging alive, and kicking

Saturday August 18, 01:26 AM

A first year MBA student at Galgotia Institute of Management and Technology was allegedly beaten up by his seniors and some goons outside the college gate when he reportedly protested on being ragged. Two security men who tried to help him also reportedly suffered injuries.

The victim, Deepak Kumar, told the Hindustan Times, "On Thursday when I came to the institute for the first day, three seniors tried to rag me. When I told them ragging was banned, they told me to face the consequences." "This morning (Friday), around 10.30 am, when I came to college, the same students, and some goons they had brought, attacked me with hockey sticks. They pointed a pistol and also a knife at me to keep me silent. Then they mercilessly beat me
up. When the security guards came to help, they were also beaten up," said Kumar.

Dr Pradeep Kumar, dean ofGalgotia institute, when contacted by the Hindustan Times, said, "The three seniors have been identified as Vinod Kumar, Yogesh Kumar and Ravinder Kumar. One of them has already passed out of college while the other two are final-year MBA students." "Two security guards, Kalyan Singh and Mishra, were also injured when they rushed to rescue Deepak. They had brought about 50 local goons with them and were carrying knives and pistols too," said the dean.

He added that the two students have been suspended and a rustication process has started. A report has also been sent to the Chairman, he said. "Meanwhile, we have lodged an FIR at the Kasna Police Station against the three students who assaulted the fresher," said the dean. Superintendent of Police (Greater Noida) Avdesh Kumar Vijeta, said, "An FIR has been registered against the three senior students of Galgotia and others, under IPC section 147 (rioting) and 323(voluntarily causing hurt). A manhunt has been launched to arrest the students who are absconding. One of their accomplices has been detained."

[IE] ‘He wasn’t ragged’, but 19 seniors face suspension

GMCH committee slaps fine of Rs 2,000 each on 2006 batch of MBBS students, says seniors indulged in indiscipline

Express News Service

Chandigarh, August 16: The Disciplinary Committee of Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, has suggested that 19 students be expelled from the hostel because they indulged in ‘indiscipline’ during the introductory sessions with the freshers both in the college and hostel premises. The committee has also suggested a fine of Rs 2,000 each to be slapped on the entire batch of 2006 MBBS students.

However, the committee observed that there had been ‘no ragging’ of first year MBBS student Manjot Singh. The fact-finding committee made this observation without contacting the parents of Manjot Singh, who allegedly committed suicide due to ragging by seniors in the hostel.

Admitting that senior students had indulged in ‘indiscipline’ in the college and hostels, the committee recommended that 19 senior students staying in GMCH hostel be expelled from the hostels within 48 hours of issue of the orders. The fines have to be paid within two weeks of issue of order.

The seniors have been found guilty of instructing first year students to go to city gardens with the intention of ragging, the committee observed. Seniors have also ‘colluded with each other in not identifying the individual students who incited the others into this misadventure’, it said.

Parents of Manjot Singh, however, doubt the report’s seriousness. “If they are expelling students from the hostel for ragging, how can they say that there was no ragging with my son?” asked father Milap Singh. “They have also not given the names of the students, so we don’t know who has been expelled,” he added.

Singh, who had met GMCH Director Principal H M Swami on August 14, has been assured that he would get a copy of the report. “I am waiting for the report and will take action after that,” Singh said. Dr Swami could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.

The fact-finding committee had been constituted after media reported Manjot’s suicide. It was also reported how freshers were being ragged.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

[ToI] Student leaders allege ragging

14 Aug 2007, 0317 hrs IST,TNN

AHMEDABAD: A strong buzz of yet another ragging incident on a college campus rocked the student fraternity on Monday. This time reports pointed towards the CEPT campus.

Though the institute's authorities remained tight-lipped on the issue and no police complaint was filed, student leaders did report an incident of ragging that went out of hand.

"Parents of the student who complained of ragging came to the CEPT campus on Monday and took the student with them," said Vinay Tomar, city unit president of the National Students' Union of India (NSUI). Tomar claimed that he along with other student leaders had spoken to the student, after the incident. "The student told us that he was ragged by his seniors and when he tried to complain about the incident to the authorities of the institute, they ignored him."

Sources at the campus add that it was more than one first-year student who was ragged and that it has been going on for over a week now.

"On Monday, the situation suddenly went out of hand when one of the students narrated the ragging incident, where he was asked to remove his shirt and made to wear women's undergarments made of paper. When this matter came to light, authorities as well as senior students tried to hush up the incident.

A CEPT official said, "There was a heated argument between two students in school of interior design which went out of hand and we had to call a senior faculty to resolve the issue." Rasu Vakil, director of CEPT, when contacted late on Monday, said, "I reviewed the situation on Friday and already have anti-ragging squads of teaching and non-teaching staff.

The squads are keeping a watch over the campus. So far, I have not received any complaints on this ragging incident, but am going to look into the matter."

Monday, August 13, 2007

[MumbaiMirror] Senior medical students held for ragging junior

Anti-ragging panel set up on Supreme Court orders in March this year has found 2 students of Rajiv Gandhi Medical College in Kalwa guilty of cruelly ragging 19-year-old first year student on August 1

Nilesh Nikade / Santosh Andhale

Following the ragging incident, Hanumant Gujad (left) is left with scars on his neck and hands and suffers from a severe backache. But despite his sufferings, he has written to the college dean Dr D B Kulkarni (right) to forgive his oppressors and let them off

The first case of ragging to be investigated by an anti-ragging committee in an educational institution was reported from Rajiv Gandhi Medical College in Kalwa, last week. Two senior students have been implicated by the committee for cruelly ragging a first year MBBS student on August 1.

According to 19-year-old victim Hanumant Gujad’s statement to the committee, at 12.30 am on August 1, Gupta D S, a final year MBBS student barged into his room on the fourth floor of the hostel and asked him to accompany him. Hanumant was taken to the seniors’ section of the hostel. “Gupta asked me about some other first year students and then told me to bow and introduce myself again. He then suddenly started bullying and abusing me. When I looked up he slapped me,” Hanumant said.

He was then dragged into the room of Paresh Gotpagar, an intern at the Chhatrapati Shivaji hospital attached to the college. As soon as he entered, Gupta kicked him from behind. Hanumant alleges both the seniors, who seemed drunk, repeatedly kicked and punched him until he fell.

Hanumant has scars on his neck and hands and now suffers from a severe backache. Hanumant says, “They finally let me return to my room. I felt like committing suicide. However, I gathered the courage to report the incident on the very next day.”

College authorities quickly registered a medico-legal complaint and took the matter to the Kalwa police on August 2. Senior police inspector, K T Vidhate, Kalwa police station said, “The guilty students were brought in, but we have asked the college to submit a detailed report of the incident. Based on the report, action will be taken.”

Dr D B Kulkarni, dean of the college said, “The college’s anti-ragging committee has already prepared the report and has found the two seniors guilty. The report will be submitted to the police on Saturday. Meanwhile, we have informed Gupta’s and Gotpagar’s parents about their misconduct. We are also talking with the Thane Municipal Commissioner to discuss what action to take. We can fine the students or ask them to leave the hostel.”

Meanwhile, Hanumant has given a letter to the dean asking him to let the seniors off saying ‘they should be forgiven’.

Dr W B Tayade, director of the Directorate of Medical Education and Research, said, “We have not received any complaint from either the college or the student. I will look into the matter and if found guilty the concerned students will be punished.”

Anti-ragging committee

The committee, headed by former CBI director R K Raghavan had been formed by the Union Human Resources and Development ministry on the order of the Supreme Court in March this year. The committee asked colleges to set up their own committees and warned them that grants would be cut if they did not prevent ragging. The SC at the time had said that responsibility for ragging incidents on college premises clearly rests with the college.
mumbai news

[Telegraph] College files ragging complaint

Chinsurah/Calcutta, Aug. 11: The Saroj Mohan Institute of Technology in Hooghly today lodged an FIR against “a large number of senior students” for ragging a fresher and sending him to hospital.

Suman Das, an 18-year-old from Jadavpur, was allegedly kicked, punched and slashed by his seniors in a classroom yesterday and then ordered out of the campus by the principal.

The seniors did not even spare Suman’s father Shankar Ranjan Das when he tried to rescue his son, according to the complaint lodged by Shankar at Jadavpur police station.

N.K. Singh, the director of the institute, said: “Last night, I had verbally informed the police immediately after the incident. Today, I went to Balagarh police station with the principal, M.K. Biswas, to lodge a written complaint.”

Three months ago, the Supreme Court had put the onus of action against ragging on colleges. “We have filed the FIR within 24 hours of the incident in accordance with the apex court ruling,” Singh said.

Asked if he had named the seniors in the FIR, Singh replied in the negative. He said a five-member committee would probe the incident. “Let us first complete the internal probe and only then we shall be able to identify those involved.”

K. Kunda, the head of the department of basic sciences, is heading the probe panel.

According to the officer-in-charge of Balagarh police station, Partha Sarathi Paul, the institute said in its complaint that “a large number of senior students had attacked Suman”.

Suman’s father had told Jadavpur police yesterday that he could identify those who had assaulted his son. “Though I do not know their names, I can identify them if they are presented before me.”

“Our officials today visited the institute and spoke to some seniors. It will take a few more days to catch the culprits,” Paul said.

Suman, who was admitted to MR Bangur hospital in Tollygunge, was taken home tonight after a CT scan.

“We brought Suman home after the doctors said there was no reason to worry. We shall now admit him to a nursing home,” his father said.

The principal of Calcutta’s Ashutosh College, Debabrata Chowdhury, today visited Suman and offered him help.

[HT] College rites and riots

College seniors’ instruction: Piss on an electric heater. Possible result #1: You get a shocking tingle between your toes, your seniors roll on the floor, you buy peace in college. Possible result #2: You refuse to follow an initiation rite not mentioned in your college brochure, your seniors read you the riot act, and then implement it.

Given that there is hardly a third possibility on our campuses (you squeal, the dean takes the seniors to task, they leave you in peace), it’s difficult for any fresher to opt for the second option. That’s why such ancient, tribalistic initiation rites have equivalence in an electricity-lit India.

Seniors tell you it’s a “fun” way of “breaking ice”. As a result, ragging has remained de rigueur on Indian campuses despite a 2001 Supreme Court ban. Forget ‘ice’ — if it does not break your bones, it can still maim your pride. Last week, a Chandigarh Medical College student committed suicide after being humiliated by seniors.

Harsh Agarwal, a victim of physical abuse at Allahabad’s Motilal Nehru Medical College who co-founded CURE (Coalition to Uproot Ragging from Education), says, “It’s remarkable that this old western way of initiation into sporting teams, recorded as far back as the ancient Olympics, has become rampant in the subcontinent.” It’s not yet off western campuses, either. An 18-year-old died last week after being forced to binge at a party in Rider University. There has been at least one such death every year in the US for the past 35 years.

CURE’s analysis of 64 such cases in 2005 found 38 involving physical or sexual abuse. Taking note of this and the Raghavan Committee report, the Supreme Court is set to issue a ruling this September. The interim order it passed in June asked NCERT to include anti-ragging modules in the school syllabus.

Repeat ten times: “I shall not make anyone sing the national anthem with ‘boom-boom’ for every third word.”

Saturday, August 11, 2007

[IE] PU suspends student for ragging, slaps fine

Chandigarh, August 10: A Student of Department of Chemical Engineering and Technology, Panjab University, has been suspended for one week on charges of ragging.

Nalin Ganju, a second year student, has also been suspended from the hostel. Besides, he has been slapped a fine of Rs 1,000.

Action was taken against him after a complaint was filed by a first year student of Hostel number 3. The student initially filed the complaint with the warden, but later took it back. However, the complaint had reached the committee which looks into such cases.

On July 26, five students of UIET were expelled from the hostel and suspended from the department when the freshers complained against them.

[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.”


The Just Mohabbat cutie has grown up into a sweet-faced campus Romeo. But there’s more to the wonder kid than his natural good looks, his concern for issues like global warming for instance

It’s been a while since Taarzan—The Wonder Car, but you’re still a big hit with your young fans?
(Chuckling) Yeah, I’m still called Tarzan when I’m seen in public, which can be embarrassing at times. But it’s sweet and amusing too. The film got very high TRPs when it was first screened on Zee TV and since then they’ve been showing it at least 2-3 times a month. Since my teleserial Just Mohabbat I’ve been very popular with kids who are always your most loyal fans.

So do you drive a wonder car too?
(With a laugh) No, I ride a Maruti Swift which is a compact and fuel-efficient car, perfect for this city. I’m not really into bikes and cars. For me they’re just a mode of transportation. In fact, I’d rather walk than go for a drive. Global warming has become a matter of serious concern. I was in Ladakh recently for the shoot of Mera Bharat Mahaan and though it was really cold there and short of oxygen, there was no snow. It had all melted. A lot has been written about this in the papers but unfortunately, we’re still not taking it seriously. I guess it stems from lack of awareness, which is why whenever I get a chance to interact with my fans as happened in Chandigarh recently, I bring up the topic. The best thing about being a celebrity is that you have access to people and the media. You can impress on them that it’s the small things that make the big difference.

Mera Bharat Mahaan sounds like a patriotic subject being made to celebrate 60 years of India’s independence.
Well, it does have patriotic undertones but it’s not your usual desh -bhakti drama. I’m not at a liberty to reveal much, apart from the fact that it’s a different kind of adventure film with a lot of big names. There’s Salmanbhai (Khan), Sunnybhai (Deol), Mithunda (Chakravarty), Preity (Zinta), Bobby (Deol) and Dino (Morea). (With a grin) It’s an all-weather film. When we shot in Delhi it was blistering, Ladakh was biting cold and Chandigarh was rainy. So watch out for it.

Rajasthan, where Nanhe Jaisalmer was filmed, must have been pretty hot too?
Yes, Jaisalmer was hot but beautiful too. I’d never been to Rajasthan before and on my first trip I was caught in a sandstorm. It’s crazy! The sand clogs your eyes, mouth and nose, sheets your whole body and gets into your hair. But it was an experience too.

How was your young co-actor ?
He’s wonderful, very talented. He’s in Mera Bharat Mahaan too. So’s Bobby who’s a cool guy. No attitude, very chilled-out, a real buddy. And Preity too. During a night shoot in Chandigarh she saw me labouring through pages of dialogue in a quiet corner and strolled over to help me out with my lines.

Talking about buddies, you’re working on Hostel,a film on campus life.
Yeah, it’s set in a boy’s hostel but it’s not glossy and bubble-gum. It deals with the serious issue of ragging and has been inspired by real life. There’s a scene where I’m dragged out by my seniors to the playground, stripped and tied to a tree. Though I was wearing shorts and my co-actors were guys like Mukesh Tiwari who I knew well, I still had gooseflesh everytime I imagined that this had really happened to some boy like me.

Did you face any kind of ragging when you were in college?
No, Mithibai College in Mumbai has never reported such horrific incidents. College life for me was great fun. I was already doing Just Mohabbat by then and though I was a science student and loaded down with studies and practicals, my professors were very cooperative. They would let me off for shooting and I have to admit there were times when I would take advantage and bunk lectures. That’s one of the benefits of being a star.

The benefits must have accumulated over the years.
(With a laugh) Not really. I’m still a newcomer here and completely leave myself in the hands of my directors completely. I don’t talk much but I listen to everything the director says and watch senior actors like Salmanbhai and Ajaybhai. They are superstars and yet so down-to-earth and so sweet. I often go on the sets just so I can learn by watching them.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

[ToI] Out with bullies

Even as recent reports of ragging in colleges and universities across Gujarat make news, students and faculty tell AT there’s no need to worry yet.

In recent years, ragging has come to mean a dirty word, especially with the Supreme Court coming down heavily against it, defining it in no uncertain terms in terms of verbal, physical and sexual ragging.

Surprisingly this year there have been instances of ragging reported in Gujarat, a state hitherto unaffected by the menace. Sample this: students in Balachadi Sainik School in Jamnagar district complained of ragging, a case of ragging also took the Ahmedabad Dental College and Hospital by storm. And as if that wasn’t enough, there were accusations of the same at the Faculty of Science, MS University (MSU), Vadodara.

C F Desai, head, department of Physics, Faculty of Science, MSU denies the allegations of ragging in the department. “The interaction between first and final year MSC students were normal. Every year such interactions take place in the presence of teachers where freshers are encouraged to ask questions about life in the campus to the final year students. Seniors on their part help freshers with study notes and the like, giving them a feel of what the years at the faculty have in store for them.”

Running down these incidents as stray cases, most academicians emphasise that Gujarat has so far been safe from ragging. Dean of Faculty of Technology and Engineering, MSU, professor B S Parekh says, “It is a myth that students in engineering colleges face severe ragging. We have not come across any such complaints. To ensure such tendencies are nipped in the bud, we have rules against ragging put up on notice boards. Teachers talk to students on a regular basis, asking them about their grievances, if any.”

Sarju Ganatra, senate member, Medical College, Gujarat University, points out, “Ragging is frowned at and dealt with very strictly. Last year, for instance, a senior student happened to rag a junior, though there was nothing severe about it. But he was rusticated from the hostel for three months and only allowed in after his parents met the principal and he rendered a written apology.”

Vinaysinh Tomar, Ahmedabad city president, National Students Union of India (NSUI) believes that, “With colleges taking strict action against offenders, ragging has taken a back seat. It does however, rear its head in hostels, but if students complain, prompt action is taken. Last year, six students from an arts college were rusticated for ragging.”

Some however, don’t seem to mind the occasional teasing. Achal Ananth, an engineering student of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National University of Technology, Surat, says, “I was asked by my seniors to wear certain types of outfits. I didn’t mind that one bit. Neither did it bother me that they teased me and asked me not to laugh when they did so.”

The law, however, frowns when such liberties are taken, because a fine line separates ragging from harmless teasing!

[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)

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.

[Siasat] Guntur police release anti-ragging posters

Guntur, August 07: Guntur Police on Monday released three multi-colour posters that educate students and college faculty on provisions under the A.P. Anti Ragging Act 1997 and warning miscreants against such acts.

Superintendent of Police Mahesh Chandra Laddha said seminars would be organised in all professional colleges and other degree and junior colleges will also be covered depending on the dates to be given by the college managements. Provision for punishment would be explained and students asked to mend their ways of welcoming freshers.

Imprisonment between 6 months and 7 years had been prescribed, and these posters would be displayed in all college notice boards. The college managements were supposed to constitute anti-ragging committees on the campus and make students aware of the provisions of the Act as it was the responsibility of the management to control ragging.

Conviction by the court could lead to rustication of students and abettors would also be punished.

Guntur Rural DSP BRN Tagore and Mangalagiri Circle Inspector of Police also participated in a brief function organised to release the posters.

[CNN-IBN] Students beaten up by seniors | Ragging, the horror

Jamnagar (Gujarat): Bruised legs, scratched backs and fractured hands -- these are the scars of the ragging Purushottam Kumar and his friends have had to endure at the Balachhadi Sainik School in Jamnagar.

Fearing more assaults by their seniors, 43 Class X students ran away from the school on Sunday and spent the night on a nearby highway.

Says Purshottam Kumar, "They beat us up mercilessly. They even fractured my hand. So we had to run away from school."

The students say seniors in Class XI and XII tried to rag them a fortnight ago and when they resisted, they were beaten up.

The Class X students then decided to get back at their seniors. So on Sunday night, they assaulted some Class XI students and then escaped.

The school authorities claim they are taking necessary steps to resolve the issue.

Says Sainik School Principal, B C S Bharati, "By the time we found out how many had escaped, it was early in the morning. We are taking necessary action and everything will be ok."

However, parents of the students remain skeptical of these assurances.

Says a parent, Dilip Kachhadia, "No action has been taken as yet.They only make promises."

The image of the prestigious Sainik School is now at stake, as authorities struggle to deal with the ragging problem.

[Yahoo] Four medical students suspended for ragging

Monday August 6, 04:20 PM

Kanpur, Aug 6 (PTI) Four MBBS students of Ganesh Shankar Vidhyarthi Medical College here were today suspended on charges of ragging, while authorities are probing similar allegations against 20 others.

The four second year students were found involved in the ragging of some first year students on Saturday. An anti-ragging committee of the college decided to suspend them until further orders, Prof S K Katiyar, head, GSVMC, said.

Those suspended are Prateek Porwal, Nirbhay Singh, Deenbandhu Prasad and Uttam Singh, he said.

Appropriate action will be taken on the basis of the committee's report, Katiyar said, adding complaint against 20 other seniors was also being investigated.

[ToI] Ragging allegations rock state

AHMEDABAD: An incident of harsh ragging rocked the government dental college and hospital here on Monday. The student's father informed the college authorities that his son had been subjected to physical abuse. This was the third incident of its kind after brutal incidents of ragging threw the Balachhadi Sainik School in Jamnagar and Faculty of Science in M S University in Vadodara in a tizzy on Monday. In Ahmedabad, the student, a fresher who had joined the college on August 1, complained of continuous brutal ragging by some senior students at the institute campus.

However, he has not revealed the names of his tormentors and the nature of ragging he had to undergo. Nor has the police been intimated in this regard. His father, a medical practitioner based in Vadodara, has made a written complaint to the college authorities in this regard.

The matter came to light when the victim's father wrote a complaint to the college authorities demanding appropriate action against the senior students who had ragged his son. G J Parmar, dean of the Government Dental College and Hospital, said, "We have already constituted a three-member committee of wardens to investigate the matter.""In case the student agrees to reveal the names of his tormentors, we are ready to lodge a police complaint against them. Ragging of any nature cannot be tolerated in educational campuses," added Parmar.

[Yahoo] IIT-Delhi comes up with a definition for ragging

* Ragging is an act of aggression.
* Ragging is not harmless fun.
* Ragging does not increase smartness or makes a person bold.

IF YOU thought these are mere customary statements on the offence, consider this: swear words are no longer cool and addressing seniors as 'sir' or 'ma'am' can be comfortably dispensed with even if one is a fresher.

In a novel approach to ragging, the Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi (IIT-D) has, for the first time ever, not only defined what constitutes the offence but also changed the way it has dealt with it so far.

And, in order to elicit proactive response from the freshers, the administration has also exhorted them to report the incident instead of the usual notices that ask seniors not to rag.

Categorising the offence, IIT-D has listed any 'forced activity' or 'lifestyle restrictions' on freshers as "ragging", like restricting access to parts of the hostel or being "over-enthusiastic about making freshers participate in extra-curricular activities".

Forms of interaction where seniors manipulate conversation to "humiliate" a fresher or "make him/her feel stupid or insecure or generally threatened" have also been defined as 'conversational mind-games' that would constitute ragging.

Even asking someone to sing, dance or perform, or cheering loudly will translate to the offence as well. "These activities may appear simple but most often, they affect freshers. We have tried to get down to even the minutest details so that there is no confusion on what constitutes ragging," said Prof Anurag Sharma, Dean of Students.

The institute has also acknowledged the impact the offence can have on the victim, in its first-ever compilation of activities under the offence: "It forces an individual to accept subjugation and conform; perhaps even rationalise it later. This loss of individuality suppresses talent and reduces self-worth."

Apart from a security control room on campus where students can inform harassment, a special anti-ragging website has also been created to enable freshers to lodge anonymous complaints.

The Dean of Students office has also introduced a mentor scheme."Under the scheme, freshers would be guided by second and third year students during initial days. It helps develop a bond between them and also makes seniors feel more responsible," Prof Sharma says.

Monday, August 06, 2007

[NewIndPress] Ragging victim to lose another year

Sunday August 5 2007 12:35 IST

SAMBALPUR: Shib Shankar Ash, the victim of ragging, will have to miss this academic session. He is yet to recover from the spine injury which has left him bed-ridden since October last year.

A first year student of OUAT, Bhubaneswar, when he was allegedly thrown from the terrace during ragging by his seniors resulting in multiple injuries.

Although the OUAT Vice-Chancellor had allowed his transfer to the College of Agriculture at Chiplima near here, he is yet to walk on his own even after 10 months.

And as he lies motionless, it has been an uphill task for his automobile mechanic father Satyajit to arrange money for the second operation.

Satyajit who is yet to repay the loan he had availed of to get his son operated on at Bangalore.

The operation cost him over Rs 5 lakh. He is now on the look out for another Rs 2 lakh for the second operation which may help Ash walk again.

The OUAT authorities had paid only Rs 75,000 and washed their hands of the affair after giving Ash permission to join Chiplima college.

[ToI] Four students of mining tech expelled for ragging

DHANBAD: The management of Indian School of Mines University (ISMU), Dhanbad, India's only mining technology institution, has expelled four students following a complaint by a first-year student.

A day after their expulsion, the management on Saturday asked the four third-semester students — Sahil Arora and Ashish Yadav of mineral engineering, Setu Goyal of environmental engineering and Mrigansh Mishra of petroleum engineering — to vacate the hostel immediately.

First-year student Piyush Kumar had lodged a complaint with ISMU authorities against the four for physically torturing him in the name of ragging on Thursday. The ISMU management then constituted a four-member team comprising ISMU dean of students welfare P R Gupta, dean of academic research R Venugopal, dean of planning and design A Chattopadhyay and registrar P S Shidhu to probe the incident.

Gupta, who headed the probe team, told TOI the punishment wasn't harsh. "We followed the HRD ministry guidelines, and the instructions of the SC. The police were insisting on arresting them. We hadn't called the police to the campus. We told the police that ISMU was not in favour of their arrest," he said.

Friday, August 03, 2007

[NewIndPress] Student ends life, ragging suspected

Thursday August 2 2007 13:36 IST

BARGARH: A student of Larambha College was found dead in his hostel room on Tuesday night.

Pratap Kishore Sa, a first year Plus-Two science student, ended his life by consuming pesticides allegedly because of ragging.

While his father Kunja Sa has claimed that Pratap could have died due to ragging, the college authorities refuted the charge. Pratap belonged to Nandanmal village in Sonepur district. Kunja went with his son to the college on July 24 before returning to his village.

On Tuesday, after attending a class in the morning, Pratap came back to his hostel. Later, he was found lying motionless by his room-mates. He was rushded to VSS Medical, Burla but was declared brought dead.

Pratap reportedly consumed pesticides. Maintaining that his son was innocent, Kunja said either ragging or some derogatory remarks might have forced him to end his life. He has lodged an FIR with the Godbhaga police outpost.

Principal of Larambha College Upendra Pradhan said it was a clear case of suicide and denied ragging or harassment. Police have, meanwhile, begun investigation.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

[ToI] BIT fresher in hospital, ragging suspected

2 Aug 2007, 0436 hrs IST,TNN

RANCHI: A fresher at the Birla Institute of Technology at Mesra consumed poison, apparently after going into a bout of depression brought on by ragging. Dharamdas Oraon, enrolled in a biotechnology course, is being treated at a private nursing home in Ranchi. Family sources said Dharamdas had come to Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences on July 27 with complaints of uneasiness. After doctors detected signs of poisoning he was shifted to the nursing home on Wednesday by his family.

Dharamdas got admitted to the college on July 21 and was allotted a room in block III hostel the same day. His family members denied the boy made a suicide bid and instead alleged his seniors might have forced him to consume intoxicating substances.

"Had he consumed poison, he would not have gone to the hospital on his own," his grandfather, Dev Sharan Bhagat, said, adding his behaviour suggested the boy was mentally tortured.

Bhagat said police tried to record his statement but failed to do so. "He seems scared and falls unconscious every time the police arrive to record his statement," he said. The boy’s father, Sohrai Oraon, said his son was admitted to RIMS under mysterious circumstances.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

[Hindu] Anti-ragging law to be made stringent

Special Correspondent

MUMBAI: Maharashtra is contemplating an amendment to the anti-ragging law in the State to provide for severe punishment, according to Deputy Chief Minister R.R. Patil. Mr. Patil was responding to an adjournment motion in the Assembly on Monday in the wake of the suicide by a post-graduate medical student, Digvijay Patil, of a government medical college in Solapur on July 25. The student had blamed four other students for his step in his suicide note. Nobody has been arrested.