Thursday, September 12, 2013

'Ragging' rears its ugly head

 BHUBANESWAR: A second year student of BSc agriculture of Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT) brought allegations of ragging against his seniors on Tuesday.

Junior students gheraoed the office of dean (students' welfare) demanding action against the seniors. The varsity authorities, however, refuted the allegation of ragging and said it was a case of clash between two groups of students. Dean (students' welfare), R K Das said, "A disciplinary committee has started investigating the matter and the report will be submitted to the vice chancellor to take action against the guilty. But preliminary enquiry revealed that it was a clash between seniors and juniors."

 According to sources, first year students stay in Hostel no. 9 and from second year they stay with seniors in the hostels of the respective colleges. On Monday night, some third year students allegedly harassed and grilled second year students in Godaborisha hostel and later they assaulted a student. The victim has sustained serious injuries in his ear.

 The junior students have also lodged a complaint with police but no case has been registered. "The seniors said juniors must experience ragging and started grilling us followed by physical assault, which was intolerable," said a junior student requesting anonymity.

 "Some students came to lodge a complaint of clash but no case was registered as they did not inform the university authorities about it. We asked them to inform the varsity authorities first and if no action is taken, then we will register a case," said IIC of Khandagiri police station Sanjeev Satpathy.

 Recently, the Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) ordered the vice chancellor of OUAT to give Rs 2 lakh compensation to the family of Siba Shankar Ash, a student who became bed-ridden after being ragged by seniors in 2006. Ash's father Satyajeet Ash moved the commission after his son could not recover from the multiple injuries sustained after he was allegedly pushed down from the hostel roof by some seniors.

To curb ragging in educational institutions, a state-level anti-ragging committee has been formed under the chairmanship of Governor and Chancellor of Universities M C Bhandare as per the direction of the Supreme Court.

All colleges were asked to circulate telephone numbers of district collectors, SPs and college authorities among students. Anti-ragging committees were also formed in all educational institutions and hostels. "The state-level committee would take strict action against the college authorities and students where incidents of ragging are reported," said a senior officer of higher education department.

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