Sunday, January 31, 2010

Act tough in ragging case,Darade tells GMC dean

TNN, 30 January 2010, 02:22am IST

NAGPUR: The situation seems to be more complicated than before for Yogesh Rathod. This second year student of the MBBS course at Government Medical College (GMC) claimed to have been ragged by three of his 'seniors' just after midnight on Sunday at the residential hostel where he stays. And now, while his friends are trying to help him out, his alleged tormentors are turning up the heat on him to drop the matter!

On Friday, some of the batchmates of Yogesh claimed that the incident was being played down, visited district collector Praveen Darade, asking that he intervene on their behalf and secure justice for the victim. Darade, on his part, told TOI that he had already instructed GMC dean Dr Abhimanyu Niswade to initiate the strictest of action against the guilty parties, and also offered any help if Niswade needed it.

On the other hand, Niswade told TOI that Yogesh was a person who had recently been beaten up by some auto-rickshaw drivers, and even insinuated that it was probably the boy's fault. "The collector has asked me to not to let the accused even within the campus for two years, and to see that they are not able to register themselves as doctors with the Medical Council of India. However, all that is not within my power," he explained.

"The college council has been taking a decision in this regard, and it will be known to all by Saturday morning. Otherwise, it is not in my hands to take the steps that the collector has suggested," Niswade added. It is interesting to note that he clearly did not hold a good view of a student of the very college where he is the dean, and additionally, did not seem too keen to punish those who are accused of mistreating this student!

It is highly unfortunate that such an attitude should be displayed in Nagpur when people accused of ragging are being dealt with an iron hand across the country. One is also liable to question why Niswade is not acting tough on the accused even though the collector has promised all help from his as well as the government's side!

Meanwhile, the friends of Yogesh who went to meet the collector on Friday, told TOI that they were being pressurised to withdraw the case or soften their stand. Apparently, even college professors are involved in this effort of coercion, because they may be implicated for their role in not stopping such incidents if the guilty parties in this case are indicted.

As for the three accused, they have reportedly threatened the complainants of dire consequences if matters are not 'wound up' soon. The students also complained that the victim is under extreme stress due to these incidents.

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