NIT senior students protest disciplinary action for ragging
HYDERABAD: Hundreds of students of the National Institute of Technology (NIT) in Andhra Pradesh’s West Godavari district protested against the “unilateral decision” of the authorities to expel and suspend five students on charges of ragging their juniors, officials said on Wednesday.
More than 300 students from second, third and fourth year engineering courses at the institute in Tadepalligudem staged a demonstration on campus on Tuesday against authorities for “punishing” the five for what they described as a petty clash between seniors and juniors.
Some of them threatened to commit suicide if authorities did not revoke the action.
“It is quite common in any institution to witness petty clashes between students. But the authorities are treating this incident as a serious crime and ruining the precious careers of the students,” a student said while speaking to the local media.
Authorities said the incident of ragging on the campus was reported on February 2. Some senior students belonging to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana allegedly ragged first-year engineering students from Bihar and that led to clashes between senior and junior groups.
The students from Bihar then staged a sit-in protest in campus seeking action against their seniors. They also lodged a complaint with local police, who registered a case of ragging against 15 senior students.
“We received a complaint from one of the students stating that some senior students resorted to ragging and beating. We referred the matter to the disciplinary committee,” NIT coordinator S Srinivas said. A national-level anti-ragging committee from NIT Warangal conducted an inquiry and confirmed the incident.
“Based on the committee report, we expelled a senior student permanently and suspended four others for a period of two years. We also expelled nine students from the college hostel, but not from the academics on Monday,” Srinivas said.
Local journalist T Suresh said junior students agreed to a compromise and withdrew the complaint, but authorities did not relent, saying there was nothing in their hands as the anti-ragging committee had already recommended action against the senior students as per the guidelines of the Union human resource development ministry.
The students withdrew their agitation after the college authorities pacified them and promised that they would talk to higher authorities for reducing the quantum of punishment. “We cannot say now how the higher authorities in the HRD ministry would respond to our request (on the reduction of the quantum of punishment),” Srinivas said.
Despite intervention from the government and Supreme Court, fresh college entrants are often subjected to days of physical and mental abuse by their seniors.