Bangalore, June 19, DHNS :
The ragging menace resurfaced dramatically at an engineering college in Bhatkal, when a gang of about 11 senior students attacked and grievously wounded a 1st year 2nd Semester Civil engineering student from the same institution on Saturday evening.
The shattered victim suffered severe bruises and fractures on his limbs, jeopardizing his appearance in the ongoing semester examinations. He could lose an entire year.
Based on the victim, Mohammed Shibili’s complaint, the Bhatkal Town police have taken up a case of ragging under section 116 of the Karnataka Education Act, 1983 (Karnataka Act No 1 of 1995), 506 IPC for criminal intimidation and 323 IPC (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt). Three of the students, who allegedly attacked Shibili, were identified as Hashim, Naafi and Faheem, all of whom were “year-out” students having failed to clear the minimum number of subjects.
The drama unfurled at around 6.45 pm on Saturday, when Shibili and five of his batchmates went out of the college hostel to have food and withdraw money from an ATM. “On the way, we were confronted by some of our seniors who sought to know the whereabouts of a few 1st year students involved in an episode on Friday. We told them we weren’t aware since we were from a different block. But they weren’t convinced,” recalled Shibili to Deccan Herald.
Then came the warning. “They said if we didn’t cooperate, we would be beaten up once we graduate to the second year. Then I told them that I would complain if that happened.” With these remarks, the juniors went out for food. But one of them was apparently marked out for assault.
On their way back to the college hostel, Shibili and his friends were confronted again, this time by two seniors, who asked them to follow the duo. “It was around 7.30 pm. They took us to a dark corner not far away from the college entrance. Within seconds, a waiting gang of about 11 pounced on me, hammering blows one after another. I was hit on the head, neck, chest and all over.
My right arm fingers suffered fractures. There was no one to help,” narrated Shibili, still in deep shock.
His shell-shocked friends were told to take the attack as a warning. “We were asked to tell all our hostel-mates to take this is a warning.” When the nightmare finally ended, Shibili was bleeding and shaking. He was rushed to the Government Hospital in Bhatkal town.
The Anjuman Engineering College principal has kept all the three students identified by Shibili under suspension. The Bhatkal Town police said the identity of the other students would be known only after the trio were arrested, since the victim could not name the others.
Ragging a criminal offence
Ragging is a criminal offence according to Supreme Court directives. Section 116 of the Karnataka Education Act, 1983 (Karnataka Act No.1 of 1995) defines ragging as: "Causing, inducing, compelling or forcing a student, whether by way of practical joke or otherwise, to do any act which detracts from human dignity or violates his/her person or exposes him/her to ridicule from doing any lawful act. By intimidating, wrongfully restraining, wrongfully confining, or injuring him or by using criminal force on him/her or by holding out to him/her any threat of intimidation, wrongful confinement, injury or the use of criminal force."