Sunday, August 14, 2011

Ragging accused given assignment

COIMBATORE: The district court here has ordered five students of Kongunadu Arts and Science College accused in a ragging case to prepare multiple reports on the ills of ragging in educational institutions.

Two of the accused have been ordered to delve into the origin and evolution of ragging through various case studies and while two other students have been asked to compile a list of incidents of ragging and their direct and indirect consequences during the last five years in the state. Another accused have been asked to prepare a special report on the need for effective participation of students in preventing ragging in educational institutions.

The court, taking into consideration the fact that all five accused were college students, spared them the procedure of presenting themselves before the local police station or district court on a daily basis. "Since all accused are students and might suffer trauma and stigma if they are asked to report to a police station or court, the court has decided to ask them to compile and prepare these reports. The reports should be handed over to their college principal before August 30," observed judicial magistrate-I LS Sathiyamurthy while hearing the bail petition of the students on Tuesday.

The five students, pursuing BSc zoology, were arrested under section 4 of Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Ragging Act last Thursday (August 4). They were handed over to the police after the anti-ragging committee of the college conducted an internal probe into a complaint filed by 12 MSc second year girl students who accused the five of verbally abusing them on the campus on July 28. Based on the complaint, college authorities lodged a complaint with Thudiyalur police. "The first two accused V Thangamuthu (20) of Erode and G Vijayakanth (21) were ordered to trace the origin and evolution of ragging in various levels of education with the help of case studies and preventive measures adopted by colleges.

The third and fourth accused R Lalithkumar (20) and G Manikandan (22) have been ordered to compile a report on the total number of ragging incidents reported in the state during the last five years and along with the direct and indirect consequences of these reports. "They can trace these cases with the help of media reports and clippings and look into each of these incidents in detail," the magistrate observed. The fifth and final accused S Prabhakaran (24) has been ordered to study the impact of various programmes adopted by colleges to prevent ragging through active student participation and co-operation in higher education institutions. The students will have to submit the report on or before August 30 to their college principal. Thangamuthu is a first year student while rest of the four accused are third year zoology students.

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