Sunday, March 27, 2011

Ragging at Ravenshaw; seniors smell a rat

March 27, 2011 5:29:45 PM

PNS | Cuttack

While the High Court verdict on occupancy of contentious East Hostel of the Ravenshaw University is expected anytime now, an unsavory incident among the unauthorised occupants of the hostel on Sunday is snowballing into a major controversy.

Manas Samantray, a Plus III first-year Commerce student, lodged a police complaint saying he was beaten up by a group of senior students of the hostel. He is now hospitalised alleging that he was subjected to ragging. Refuting the allegations the Plus III third year students are saying the ragging slur is brought against them by the junior student at the behest of university authorities.

"The university authorities have stage-managed the entire drama having a political vendetta just on the eve of the High Court verdict. There was no question of any ragging inside the Hostel except a heated word of exchange between two groups of students over a blaring noise of a music system during study hours," said Pratap Mohanty, a third year student.

On the other hand, the junior students after lodging a complaint at the local Malgodown police station demanded stringent action against the seniors who are trying to bully the juniors. The current occupancy in the East Hostel is viewed 'illegal' by the university authorities who claim that the renovation work of the hostel was not complete and the students were forcefully occupying it.

But knowing very well that the occupancy of both the groups of students in the hostel as illegal, the university's Registrar ordered the Hostel Dean to conduct an inquiry and submit a report to the Ragging Committee. "If any student was found to be involved in ragging, stringent action would be taken against them," said Registrar Smarapriya Mishra.

However, Hostel Dean Bijay Mishra differed with it saying that it has not yet been ascertained whether the incident could be viewed as ragging. "We would only go by the police investigation into the matter as the same has been reported to police. Moreover, since there is a status quo in the hostel, for the matter is pending disposal in the High Court, we cannot officially conduct any enquiry about the happenings in the East Hostel," Mishra said over telephone.

"Nevertheless, the manner in which the University authorities are going head over heels to paint the issue as an incidence of ragging and are going to decide the fate of the students by the Ragging Committee definitely smells a rat and we believe it is a conspiracy against us," Pratap Mohanty alleged.

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