In a "shocking and first of its kind incident" in the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), at least eight students of the varsity in New Delhi were ragged by their seniors in a hostel room, authorities said on Thursday.
"We are shocked. It has never happened on our campus," JNU proctor Neera Kongari told IANS.
"The victims were fresh MCA (Masters in Computer Application) students and those who ragged them are semester third and fourth students. It is a first of its kind and sad incident in our university, and we are going to take the strongest action," she said.
The incident took place in Tapti hostel on Wednesday night. Kongari said there were five to six students who were ragging their juniors.
"The anti-ragging committee got a tip-off about the incident and conducted the raid. They caught them red handed. We have already withdrawn the accused students from the hostel," Kongari said.
"Further inquiry is on. We will take stringent action so that such an act is never repeated on our campus," she said.
When asked about the time line of real action and if they will be rusticated from the university, Kongari said: "The real action may take place next week as there are a few holidays this week. But authorities are consulting each other about the decision and soon you will see the result."
"We have a code, under that the strongest punishment will be given," she reiterated.
According to police at the Vasant Vihar police station (JNU falls under its jurisdiction), no official communication or complaint from the varsity authorities has been received yet.
Robin, a student from the same hostel, said: "We are shocked at the development. But many of us believe that it was more of an introductory thing than ragging."
On Aug 3, the Kirori Mal College (KMC) in Delhi University's north xcampus expelled two students and rusticated another for allegedly ragging a junior in the hostel. Delhi Police have registered a case against two students.
The KMC authorities received a complaint from a first-year BSc student, Ashutosh, that he was ragged and sexually harassed by two third-year students - Akshay Chaudhary and Hani Mohammad - in the college hostel the day before.
The Supreme Court has asked educational institutions to observe zero tolerance towards ragging. During the past year, India witnessed 88 cases of ragging, of which 12 proved fatal.