Thursday, September 12, 2013

Six NIIFT students arrested for ragging, one on run; institute says it was fighting

 Following a complaint of ragging, the Mohali police on Thursday night arrested six of the seven accused students of Northern Indian Institute of Fashion Technology (NIIFT). The seventh accused, Sahil Vashisht from Ludhiana, is still on the run. As the offences under which they were booked are bailable, the six students were released on bail on Friday.

 The accused have been identified as Sehajvir Singh from Mohali; Shehbaaj Khan from Sangrur; Sahil Vashisht from Ludhiana; and Mritunjay, Khusnoor, Raj Kumar and Krishna Singh from Patna. All seven were booked for voluntarily causing hurt, wrongful restraint, criminal intimidation, assault to dishonour, rioting and unlawful assembly.

 Six of the accused have completed their diploma and are currently pursuing a 'bridge course' at NIIFT to obtain a degree while Krishna is a second-year student. The FIR was registered following a complaint by the victims who were allegedly ragged and beaten up by the accused. According to the police, the victims — Amresh Mehta from Noida, Shikhar Srivastava from Lucknow and Satyam from Patna — are first-year students who were being harassed by the accused for several days.

 The accused allegedly asked the victims to remove their clothes and dance publicly in the college canteen around 2 pm on Thursday. When the victims refused to do so, they were allegedly beaten up by the accused causing them injuries. While Satyam got stitches in his ear and Amresh suffered minor injuries, Shikhar was injured while trying to save the two.

 The victims alleged they were being constantly harassed and ragged by the accused for the last several days. The victims said that the actual number of seniors was around 10-12 and they used metallic knuckles while beating the juniors. "These seniors have been ragging people for the last three-four years but have never been booked because the college administration tries to suppress such cases.

Even this time, the incident happened right in front of the entire college, including teachers, but the head of the college maintains that it was just a case of fighting among students and not ragging," alleged the victims. The victims also alleged that the college authorities were trying to threaten them not to register a case or they would be expelled. However, Madan Lal, the assistant registrar of the Institute, denied these allegations.

"We do not suppress such cases but rather try to sort them out because we don't want our students to be branded as criminals. It's common for students at this age to fight among themselves, and that's what happened yesterday. It was not ragging," he said.

 This was reiterated in a press release wherein Vishva Bandhu, the director of NIIFT, said that an investigation into the incident by a four-member anti-ragging committee revealed that it was not a case of ragging but of fighting between two groups of students. He added that the authorities would look into the matter involving both the groups and take necessary action against them. However, other students of the institute said the accused allegedly often called their juniors to their flat and ragged them severely. "They make their juniors remove their clothes and dance in a vulgar way among several other things," said a third-year student.

No comments: