Friday, June 05, 2009

Fresh ragging cases crop up despite strict actions

Kolkata, September 25 Although academic institutions have been dealing with ragging cases with an iron fist, fresh instances have been reported in three Bengal universities over the last couple of days.
Enquiries have been initiated in many of these cases.
This academic session, ragging has been dealt with strongly by the universities in the state, with Jadavpur University setting an example by suspending 24 students for being involved in ragging, a few weeks back. However, the punitive action taken against the students has drawn sharp reactions from them.
In the latest case, two first year students (girls) of the Bengal Engineering and Science University (BESU) have complained that they were “mentally harassed” by six third year students. On September 24, Vice-Chancellor NR Banerjea issued orders that the six girls be expelled from the hostel.
Later, the students ‘gheraoed’ the vice-chancellor and eventually forced the management to withdraw the expulsion order.
In a startling U-turn, however, the vice-chancellor on Thursday said the primary report of the teachers indicated that there is no evidence of ragging.
“I have asked the girls to issue a written apology for what happened, and we will withdraw the decision to suspend them from the hostel,” Banerjea said.
In Asansol Engineering College, a first-year girl student has accused her seniors of ragging.
Vice-Chancellor of the West Bengal University of Technology Sabyasachi Sengupta visited the college and tried to pacify the girl. He said: “I met the girl and her mother, and I have advised them to rent separate accommodation near the university. We cannot eradicate such instances (of ragging) completely. Both sides need to be counselled.”
Even in Jadavpur University a first-year student has complained that he was ragged by a group of students of the engineering department.
An enquiry committee has been set up to look into the complaint.
“There is a directive from the Supreme Court to take strict measures against ragging. But the universities are not investigating agencies. Moreover, for students coming from nuclear families, sometimes anything and everything is ragging. So the educational institutions have to maintain a balance when such instances crop up,” said Subimal Sen, chairman of Higher Education Council.

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