PUNE: The academic year 2009-10 registered has highest number ofraggingdeathsin recent times in the country. Maharashtra is one of the two states that have registered highest number of deaths owing to ragging. An analysis of Coalition to Uproot Ragging fromEducation(CURE), has claimed. The organisation has come out with its statistics, which points that ragging percentage is high in Engineering and Medical Colleges.
Established in 2001, CURE, Delhi is an anti-ragging non-profit organization. According to CURE's latest analysis of ragging in India, the academic session 2009-10 registered highest number of ragging deaths in recent times. In the last 12 months, 19 cases of deaths and 4 cases of attempted suicides allegedly due to ragging were reported. The year also witnessed a marked increase in the number of ragging incidents involving girls, including 4 cases of deaths and 2 cases of attempted suicides by girl students.
According to the organisation, in the academic session 2009-10 (July, 2009 June, 2010) a total of 164 cases of ragging were reported. This shows that ragging cases reported have doubled this academic year. The maximum number of ragging deaths were recorded in Maharashtra (4), West Bengal (4) and Punjab (3) registered maximum deaths due to ragging. It is alarming to observe that 4 states comprise to 57% of the total ragging deaths across the country. The highest incidents were reported from Uttar Pradesh (26), Andhra Pradesh (18), Tamil Nadu (14), Kerela (13) and West Bengal (11). In comparison to last year, Tamil Nadu is a new entrant to this list, whereas Punjab has exited the list.
There were 56 cases of ragging that led to major and minor injuries to students including several incidents leading to hospitalization and even permanent disability to young students. 22% of the total cases involved sexual abuse of freshers. 24 cases of ragging led to serious group clashes, protests and strikes and violence between students. Element of drug abuse, alcoholism, extortion, caste difference or regionalism was noted in 19 ragging cases.
Like the previous years, this year also, high percentage of cases were reported from Engineering and Medical Colleges with a total of 68 cases (42% the total cases). Hostels and paying guest accommodation for students still remain to be the breeding ground for ragging as 91 cases or 56% of the total cases were reported from these places located in and around the campus area.
"We have been studying the reports in the leading newspapers in the country. Our analysis based on the data collected from these reports," Harsh Agarwal, Co-founder, CURE told TOI.
Agrawal, who was one of the consultants to the Raghavan committee, constituted to carry report on Ragging in the country "With so much fear, mystery and secrecy associated with ragging the only way to analyse the situation of ragging in the country is to track media reports and explore the trends and nature of this evil, " he said, "Finding other sources for data collection was tough, as no specific section such as deaths due to ragging' is present in National Crime Record Bureau."
Other co founder of the organisation Varun Aggarwal stated that more efforts are required to deal with the problem "Our analysis states the obvious: Ragging is still widespread and its social impact is non-trivial. There is a lot of talk, but little work. A simple question to ask is how many educational institutions were fined or de-affiliated for breeding ragging, The unfortunate answer is 0." says Varun Aggarwal, Co-founder, CURE.
When contacted to National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) the officials stated that no specific section for deaths due to ragging is present. "If the student committees suicide then the death is reported under the head of suicides. If the students are minor then they are reported under the deaths of minor and If the student is murdered then it is reported under the section of murder," R B Singh, statistics officer of NCRB, Delhi told TOI, adding, "We don't have a specific section to record death due to ragging."
Despite repetative contacts higher and technical minister of the state Rajesh Tope was not available for comment.