By: Amit Singh Date: 2009-07-24 Place:Delhi
IIFT fresher ragged by seniors allegedly in an inebriated state
It's the dream institute for any aspiring management student, but for this fresher of Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT), the experience of the first few days was nothing less than a nightmare. Ragged by seven to eight seniors, the fresher was made to run around the college for more than half-an-hour and was asked to stand in front of the girl's hostel and shout at the highest decibel possible.
The email (a copy of which is with MiD DAY), that was written by the student's father around 1 am on July 5, read: "I am extremely sad to say that my son rang me up half-an- hour ago, complaining about the harassment faced from some of the senior students. The seniors he said were drunk and were harassing him and a few other students by asking vulgar and obscene things. This happened for around 45 minutes. And later, the seniors made my son and others run around the college and they were asked to shout things outside the girl's hostel."
"My son, pursing MBA in International Business (IB), told me there were about seven to eight seniors but he could identify only four Amandeep Mattaa, Saurabh Sipani, Sujoy and Ankit Bhutani. It is shocking to know that students holding positions in the student's bodies are also involved in this activity. Being a concerned parent, I just wanted to bring this to your notice so that such acts don't take bad form," the mail further read.
It seems ragging is still not a taboo in colleges, and instances like these only strengthen the seriousness of the act. "After receiving the email, the four students were asked to leave the hostel immediately. However, a number of junior students requested us to revoke the action against them. Later, we also received an email from the student's father requesting not to punish the boys mentioned in the earlier email," said Dr L D Mago, registrar, IIFT.
When MID DAY tried to know the version of Ankit Bhutani, one of the students named in the email, who is also the current president of the student's body, he refused to speak saying, "It's none of your business."
On request of anonymity, a First Year student of IIFT said, "Our session started from July 1 and from the same day, we were asked to line up at the seminar hall at night, which is in depleted condition with poor ventilators.
All 159 students were then made to sit in that room for hours along with few seniors. With no air conditioner and window, we kept sweating for hours.
"Though ragging was not harsh but it was no doubt embarrassing. The seniors made us introduce ourselves, sing, dance and act. All this happened till one or two in the night and continued for four to five days. In the morning, we have yoga sessions from six and hardly get three to four hours of sleep. This 'fun-session' of seniors continued for a week, before it finally stopped," added the student.
IIFT is one of the prestigious B-schools in the country, which was set up in 1963 by the government to provide foreign trade management expertise and increase exports.
According to a report by the Coalition to Uproot Ragging from Education (CURE), a voluntary group, the number of ragging cases reported (between July 2008 and June 2009) are 88; number of ragging deaths are 12 and number of attempted suicides (due to ragging) are five. The previous year had 89 cases out of which 11 resulted in deaths and there were five attempted suicides.
The court says
Following the death of Amann Satya Kachroo, a First Year MBBS student of Dr Rajendra Prasad Government Medical College (RPGMC), Himachal Pradesh, due to ragging in March, the Supreme Court directed all state governments to constitute committees to look into the incidents of ragging and take measures for de-addiction in cases of alcoholism. The apex court also stated that every college should have a psychiatrist to provide counsel to the students