Friday, June 05, 2009

Dining hall ragging drives girl from college

Durgapur, Sept. 22: A first-year engineering student of an Asansol college skipped an exam and left for home with her mother today after accusing her hostel seniors of snatching food from her plate during dinner and forcing her to eat “leftovers”.
In her complaint to authorities of the private Asansol Engineering College, south Calcutta girl Dibbyashree Chakraborty also said “hunger” forced her to call up an unknown boy her seniors had been pressing her to meet.
The 19-year-old, accompanied by her mother Nupur Chakraborty, a railway employee, filed the complaint with principal A.K. Aditya before leaving for their Dhakuria home in the afternoon.
“The seniors regularly removed fish, meat or eggs from my plate,” the student of applied electronics instrumentation said. “When I protested they threatened to starve me. I went through acute mental torture and decided to ask my parents to take me home.”
The girls’ hostel is on the college campus and has around 200 students, of whom 53 are in their first year.
Dibbyashree, whose father is an electrical engineer with BSNL, had joined the college in Asansol, 240km from Calcutta, on August 18 but left for home six days later because of the dining hall torture. Her mother had verbally informed hostel superintendent Tanuja Mukherjee of the ragging.
“The superintendent told me to speak to hostel-in-charge Animesh Upadhyaya. I informed him about my daughter’s plight. He promised to look into the matter but we realised that nothing had been done when my daughter returned to the college on September 7 and the torture resumed. Today I lodged a written complaint with the principal. He too has promised to take action, but I have my doubts,” her mother said.
Aditya said he had forwarded the complaint to the college anti-ragging committee. “I cannot lodge an FIR since I don’t have the names of the accused girls. Once I identify them, I will lodge a police complaint. I have requested Dibbyashree to return after the pujas.”
Dibbyashree said she had stopped going to the dining hall after September 10 and survived on biscuits and cake. But her stock ran out and, on September 16, she was forced to go to the hall. “The seniors took away my plate and said I would be given food only if I talked to a boy they were going to call over the mobile. I refused but later agreed because I was hungry,” she said.
“The unknown boy asked my name and wanted to meet me the next day. I refused but he started pestering me. I disconnected the call but the girls started pressuring me to meet him. I was scared but stood my ground,” Dibbyashree, supposed to write a test today, said.
The additional superintendent of police, Asansol, Bastab Baidya, said the college had not informed him about any ragging complaint.

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