Monday, October 17, 2011

13 students fined Rs25,000 each for ragging in Maharashtra

MUMBAI: The Government Medical College in Aurangabad has fined 13 final year students Rs 25,000 each for ragging a fresher, in what might be the first such case of its kind in Maharashtra.

The 13 seniors were accused of coercing the victim into playing cricket with them in the rain despite his repeated entreaties and protests. A day later, he took seriously ill. An inquiry into the incident found the 13 MBBS students guilty of ragging.

On receiving a complaint, we instituted a probe as per the guidelines prescribed under the anti-ragging act, said college dean K S Bhopale. After it confirmed that the student was ragged, we fined each guilty senior Rs 25,000 and banned them from participating in cultural activities.

The Medical Council of India prescribes a range of punishments contingent on the gravity of the ragging offence. Among the penalties are suspension from classes, rustication for one to four semesters and a fine of Rs 25,000 and Rs 1 lakh.

The Aurangabad ragging incident occurred on September 4, when the students were staging a cricket match between juniors and seniors on the college ground. The victim, explaining his poor health, tried to excuse himself from the contest, but the seniors blockaded the exit. Bowing down to the pressure, he played out the match. The very next day, he fell ill with high fever.

His father complained in writing to Bhopale, who set up a committee headed by the college's senior-most professor, S T Khan, to probe the allegation. Khan recorded the statements of the senior students and the victim, Bhopale said. Other junior students claimed there was no ragging. But the committee confirmed the victim's complaint and recommended suitable action against errant seniors.

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