Sunday, March 27, 2011

High court orders shield for ragging victim

Cuttack, Feb. 24: Orissa High Court has ordered interim protection for a first-year BTech student of C.V. Raman College of Engineering in Bhubaneswar following allegations of ragging and threats of further assault.

The student, Sanjeev Kumar, had filed a petition seeking security so that he could pursue his studies in peace. In his petition, Kumar alleged that the college authorities and police did not take any action even though he had lodged a complaint and FIR accusing a student of ragging and torturing him.

Kumar had filed the petition under the All India Council of Technical Education (Prevention & Prohibition of Ragging in Technical Institutions, Universities, including Deemed Universities imparting Technical Education) Regulations, 2009.

“Acting on it, the single-judge bench of Justice Sanju Panda ordered for interim protection while issuing notices yesterday to the C.V. Raman College of Engineering authorities and the inspector-in-charge of Khandagiri police station,” the petitioner’s counsel Bijay Kumar Pattanaik told The Telegraph today.

“The respondents are expected to file replies to the notice within a week,” he added.

Kumar had alleged that a second-year student of electronic and telecommunication engineering had several times ragged, abused and assaulted him on campus.

According to the petition, Kumar was rescued by a third-year mechanical engineering student and a second-year student of hotel management on February 1. He had reported the matter to the principal on the same day. The next day he lodged an FIR at Khandagiri police station after he was threatened with dire consequences and not being allowed to stay in Bhubaneswar if he did not withdraw the complaint submitted to the principal. The police, Kumar alleged, had taken no action on his complaint either.

The anti-ragging committee of the college had inquired into the matter. But no action had been taken against the student. “Unless I am protected by the college authorities and the police, I cannot continue my studies at C.V. Raman College of Engineering,” Kumar said, while seeking an order for inquiry into the alleged ragging and suitable action against the culprit.

The high court had on December 6 directed the Biju Patnaik University of Technology to form a monitoring cell on ragging and ensure formation of counselling cells at colleges and institutions affiliated to it. The high court issued the direction while disposing of a petition filed by BPUT challenging the ruling of the high court that had quashed the university’s order of punishment to five students for alleged ragging. BPUT had on September 13, 2010, debarred five fourth-year students of Piloo Modi College of Architecture from studies and university examinations for two years after finding them guilty of ill-treating, harassing and assaulting a second-year BArch student, as it saw it as “a fit case of ragging”.

The high court’s single-judge bench of Justice M.M. Das had quashed the order issued by BPUT on November 22 saying that it was “not a case of ragging but a case of scuffle between some students of the institution”.

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