NIT se­nior stu­dents protest dis­ci­plinary ac­tion for rag­ging

Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - - Nation - Srini­vasa Rao Ap­pa­rasu let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

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.

HT FILE

De­spite in­ter­ven­tion from the govern­ment and Supreme Court, fresh col­lege en­trants are of­ten sub­jected to days of phys­i­cal and men­tal abuse by their se­niors.

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