Thursday, November 26, 2009

Ragging continues despite SC strictures

Ashish Tripathi, TNN 24 November 2009, 01:58am IST

LUCKNOW: Strict Supreme Court strictures and state government anti-ragging law making the act a cognizable offence has failed to deter seniors from ragging. In yet another incident of ragging, a first semester girl student of the bachelor of journalism and mass communication, was severely ragged for days and assaulted allegedly by two seniors when she reported the matter to college management. A senior who came to her rescue was also thrashed mercilessly. The management has expelled the two seniors from the hostel and has ordered an inquiry.

The victims are students of the Modern Girls College of Professional Studies (MGCPS), a private college affiliated to the Lucknow University. According to reports, the girl, Sadhana (name changed) was being ragged continuously by her two seniors -- one second year student of bachelor of computer science and the other a second year student of bachelor of business administration. The victim belongs to Moradabad and stays in the hostel. The seniors were also said to be residents of the same hostel. The duo used to barge into the room of the junior, talk to her in abusive language and force her to perform some obscene acts.

When the `torture' became unbearable, the victim lodged a complaint with the college administration on November 19. As the management started probing into the matter, the two seniors retaliated by assaulting the complainant. Another senior, also a student of bachelor of journalism and mass communication, was also beaten up when she came for the victim's rescue. The medical examination of Sadhana showed that she suffered serious head injury resulting in internal bleeding after her head was banged against the wall. The senior who came to her rescue has suffered limb injuries. Students told TOI that both the victims are still terrified.

When contacted, college director, Rajiv Tuli confirmed action against the two accused seniors. He said that the parents of the two seniors have also been informed about the misconduct of their wards. "We have issued show cause notices to the two accused seniors to give them an opportunity for defence in consonance with the principle of natural justice. Further action will be taken, which might include rustication from the college, after the inquiry is complete," he said. College authorities have also assured other freshers not to be afraid of seniors and report any matter related to ragging without hesitation.

Over a dozen cases of severe ragging have been reported in UP this year. At least two students committed suicide after being ragged brutally. The state government took a serious view of the fact and promulgated the Prevention of Ragging in Educational Institutions Ordinance, 2009, on October 14. The law has made ragging a cognizable offence and is applicable in all the higher education institutes, including professional colleges, both government and private, across the state. It includes Supreme Court's directions which make it mandatory for the institutions to lodge an FIR against accused, besides their expulsion.

* November 6, 2009: 28 students were expelled from Uday Pratap College in Varanasi for ragging their juniors and indulging in violence.

* October 31, 2009: Six students of a private dental college in Gorakhpur booked for allegedly ragging a junior by singeing him with cigarettes.

* October 29, 2009: Two students of a government-run polytechnic institute in Lakhimpur district were booked for ragging and beating juniors.

* September 17, 2009: Murder case lodged against seniors after a girl student of a private engineering college committed suicide due to ragging.

* September 15, 2009: Four engineering students of Benaras Hindu University booked for beating juniors and making them dance like male strippers.

* September 7, 2009: Nursing students complain of ragging in BHU, leading to action against seniors who ragged in the name of teaching `manners'.

* July 30, 2009: 10 students in Benaras Hindu University, Varanasi, caught ragging fined Rs 50,000 and FIRs were lodged.

* July 28, 2009: 19 girl students fined for ragging freshers at the Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh.

Study shows practice is far from being subdued
Justify Full
A study released in July showed that the ugly practice of ragging is far from being subdued in spite of Supreme Court directives. In one year, the country witnessed 88 cases of ragging of which 12 were fatal. Andhra Pradesh is the worst affected. Andhra Pradesh topped the list with 12 ragging cases, followed by West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh with ten each and Punjab eight. In the previous year, number of cases was 89 out of which 11 resulted in deaths and there were 5 attempted suicides.

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