At least four junior cricketers were stripped and beaten by their seniors, including the son of a district sports officer, at MP Cricket Academy in Shivpuri earlier this month — in a suspected case of ragging.
Families of the victims say it was a case of ragging while officials say it was fallout of a fight between two groups.
Family members of the victims said a group of senior trainee cricketers stripped their juniors and beat them up badly on August 8 night. They also asked the juniors cricketers to wash their clothes.
After a complaint was lodged on National Anti-Ragging Helpline (NARH) on August 19, authorities took action against the victims and dismissed the incident as a case of indiscipline.
After the complaint was lodged, the NARH contacted the state sports department and the academy but they didn’t respond well.
Notably, the NARH was set up by the University Grants Commission following a Supreme Court directive.
Authorities were trying to hush up the incident as the academy falls in sports minister Yashodhara Raje Scindia’s assembly constituency, a victim’s family said requesting anonymity. “The sports department was hushing up the case as the academy is located in the constituency of sports minister. They also took action against the victims.”
Sukhdev Singh Ishware, who lodged the complaint with the anti-ragging helpline, said: “My nephew is a trainee at the academy. He and his batchmates were beaten by some senior trainees. This has been happening for the past four months.”
“The senior trainees included the son of a district sports officer. They also asked my nephew and his friends to wash their clothes. When they lodged a complaint with the academy in-charge MK Dholpure, he didn’t pay any attention to their complaint,” Ishware said.
“The junior cricketers were threatened not to inform their parents about the incident. The academy management also locked the trainees in a room to stop them from informing the media and the police,” he said.
Dholpure said: “It was not a matter of ragging but a fight between two groups.” Action has already been taken, he said.
Recently, academy’s technical advisor Madan Lal and the state sport department’s joint director Vinod Pradhan visited the academy and suspended eight trainees for different span of time for indiscipline and not for ragging.
Pradhan told HT: “We are very strict in taking action against our trainees for any kind of indiscipline. The administration has probed the matter and we found that it was not a case of ragging. But some trainees were indisciplined. Two trainees were suspended for two months, two for one month and another for a fortnight.”