Sunday, November 20, 2011

Ragging raises its ugly head in city college

Two first year students of Samvaad Institute of Speech and Hearing, Hebbal, had filed a complaint with the police claiming they were humiliated by their seniors. Police find seven girls to be involved in the incidents

Some call it the ‘initiation process’ and others ‘getting familiar’, but for two first year students of Samvaad Institute of Speech and Hearing, Hebbal, it was plain ragging at its very worst.

Mudassir Ali and Vishal Kumar Mourya, students of the Bachelor in Speech Language Pathology and Audiology (BSLPA) course, claim that they were ordered by their seniors to demonstrate how to commit suicide, make out with a pillow, dance nude and run chores. All as part of ragging sessions. It got to a point where the students could stand it no longer.
They complained to the college administration, but with no action being taken, Mourya, who hails from Delhi, filed a complaint with the anti-ragging squad in Delhi. The Delhi unit in turn asked the Hebbal police to investigate the matter. Police investigations have revealed one startling fact: Of the 10 accused in the case, seven are girls. They are all students of the Master in Audiology and Speech Language Pathology (MASLP) course.

The incident has left college authorities stunned and flies in the face of state government claims that ragging has been rooted out from college campuses. Police arrested one of three male students accused in the case, while the two other boys are absconding. The girls have been let off with a warning that they would be expelled from the college and would also be arrested if they are found indulging in ragging again.

Classes for the undergraduate course began in the third week of September and the ragging began almost immediately.

In their complaint with the anti-ragging squad, Mourya and Ali claim they were made to demonstrate the act of committing suicide by hanging from a ceiling fan and were forced to strip in front of the female students and dance naked. They were even forced to sweep the rooms of their seniors and do chores like carrying water.

The complaint with the anti-ragging squad was filed on September 30 and Hebbal police were informed on October 1. The next day, police arrested one of the accused.

Fearing reprisals from his seniors, Mourya returned to his home in Delhi. Meanwhile, Ali was expelled from the college because he “had not submitted proper documents at the time of admission”.

The Samvaad Institute filed a counter complaint at the Hebbal police station on October 3 claiming that Ali, Mourya and the student arrested by the police had misbehaved at a party to welcome new students on October 1 and had also created nuisance in front of the girls’ hostel on the morning of October 3.

Police, however, say that Mourya could not have been a party to the October 3 incident — if indeed there was such an incident — as he had left for Delhi on October 2.

Mohammed Sharif Ravuthara, inspector, Hebbal police station, said, “We arrested one student on October 2. On October 3 the college administration registered a complaint against Mourya and Ali for creating nuisance near ladies’ hostel and disturbance at the college function.”

When contacted, Radhika Pooviah, principal of Samvaad institute, said, “We have suspended all the three boys involved in the incident for a week. The girls have been warned. Mourya has just returned for exams, while Ali is not a student of our college. He came for 10 days just to see the college.”

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