Sunday, August 08, 2010

Hislop probe finds no ragging evidence

NAGPUR: A day after ragging allegations rocked the 125-year-old Hislop College, the management acted quickly to set up a fact finding headed by lecturer AN Joseph. The alleged ragging case, reported by TOI on Friday, related to harassment of BSc first year students by senior biotechnology students.

Charlie commandos of city police rushed to the college about 1 pm on Thursday after receiving a call from some student that ragging was under way in the Gardiner block and searched all rooms. However, they failed to find anything as by then everybody had dispersed.

According to junior students, the seniors led by BSc second and third year students had sought permission from college teachers to conduct an "introduction" session with the juniors on Thursday. Even a senior lecturer from biotechnology department had addressed the juniors students telling them not to worry before leaving the room. He had reportedly told them that they were rude to their seniors and therefore the session is must to become familiar with each other.

The teachers had granted permission to seniors to miss two periods for the session. Later, the seniors reportedly started harassing the juniors leading to the entire drama. The students disclosed that they were being ragged since start of the new academic session and seniors were quite harsh with them. The students had reportedly lodged complaints with the college authorities too.

The students told TOI that they had even given a letter saying "sorry" to the seniors for behaving rudely but still they were being threatened. The fact finding committee of college that included RJ Andrew, MA Anjankar, P Banerjee and P Shelke, however, unanimously concluded "there is no shred of evidence that establishes the truth about alleged ragging incident".

The report of the panel, in possession of TOI, mentions that the entire incident was nothing but malicious intent of a few disgruntled elements to tarnish college's reputation. "The committee after due consideration of details of the case, concludes that the charge of ragging made by certain unreliable sources is nothing more than an unfounded error," it says.

The committee questioned the students of all three years of BSc biotechnology. The first year students categorically denied they were subjected to any kind of abuse by seniors. The panel members also spoke to senior students on their behaviour with the juniors and found nothing in their attitude or action that could be construed as aggressive.

The members also interacted with the head of department, faculty members and administrative staff of the biotechnology department regarding the ragging incident and found that "there is absolutely no truth in the allegations of ragging".

Sudipto Singh, secretary of Church of North India (CNI), which manages Hislop College, told TOI that he spoke to all junior and senior students and none of them reported any such incident taking place. "The alleged case may be a prank call. If such a thing happens in the college, I will be the first person to take action," he asserted. He said still he would strengthen the anti-ragging panel and focus would be on orientation of students. "We had provided students with phone numbers to contact if they are harassed," Singh said.

Meanwhile, a delegation of Shiv Sena submitted a memorandum to the college authorities to probe the incident that was widely reported in the media. There was an eerie silence in the sprawling college premises on Friday. Entry was restricted to the identity card holders. Even the pan and tea kiosks operating in front of the college were removed by the police as many anti-social elements made them their den.

Read more: Hislop probe finds no ragging evidence - Nagpur - City - The Times of India

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