Thursday, September 12, 2013

Students flee after ragging ‘demo’

 Silchar, Aug. 26: A ragging “demonstration” made 19 Class IX students of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Monacharra, flee from the school early today before being caught 7km away and herded back to face suspension. Monacharra, in Hailakandi district of south Assam, is about 50km from this town.

 The 19 boys managed to flee from the school premises around 1am today but the school administration sprang into action as soon as it got wind of their escapade and managed to catch them near Lala town, 7km from the school. Sources said the students had decided to flee after two boys — Class IX student Mustafa Ahmed Barbhuiya and Khalid Bin Saha Alam of Class VIII — were allegedly beaten up by a group of Class XII students near the student lavatory in the school’s backyard around noon yesterday.

 A Class IX student said, “We were called over by a group of Class XII students and made to witness the ragging taking place near the school toilet. They threatened us and said we were witnessing just a ‘demo’ and that they would continue to rag us in the hostel at night.” The sources said 31 students of Class IX had planned to flee from the school at first.

 But for some unknown reason, only 19 managed to get out. The students were planning to meet the deputy commissioner today to complain about the torture they had been going through in the past few days. When this correspondent asked a few students of the same class as to why had they not reported the matter to the school authorities, they said Class XII tests were on and so they thought the matter would not be taken seriously.

 According to the sources, the students believed that the school authorities wouldn’t be able to resolve the matter in a fair way. So they took the matter into their own hands and decided to inform the district administration instead. Apparently, the school authorities did take the matter a bit casually. Principal Anuradha T. said, “There was a small fight on Sunday morning involving some students and may be, the other students got scared because of that and tried to flee.”

 Later on, however, the 11 Class XII students allegedly involved in the ragging were identified and suspended for 10 days — same as the suspension term of the 19 “escapees”. Hailakandi deputy commissioner Shamsher Singh visited the residential school today on hearing about the incident and ordered an investigation.

 “The district administration has appointed sub-divisional officer (Sadar) Naba Kumar Deka Baruah to investigate the matter,” he said. No complaint, however, has been lodged with police in this regard, as the students injured in the “demonstration” and their parents have chosen to remain silent. Last month, seniors beat up 16 Classes VII and VIII students of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Ransaidram, at Basugaon in Chirang district in what was described as another case of ragging.

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