Even as Madhya Pradesh earns the dubious distinction of being on top among states in terms of ragging complaints lodged with the National Anti-Ragging Helpline, those responsible for curbing the menace continue to be in denial mode.
With 42 cases Madhya Pradesh is closely followed by Uttar Pradesh with 41 complaints. But hardly in any of the cases, has any action been taken on the part of college authorities or police against the errant students. Almost all the cases end up questioning the veracity of complaint, motive of the complainant and the authorities defending the accused.
In a recent ragging complaint in which some senior students had allegedly made cuts on both the hands of a first year student at Oriental College, the victim’s father alleged that instead of taking action against the accused, the college administration was persecuting his son, Rohit Sharma, to save the college’s image.
Rohit’s father Darshanlal Sharma said, "The college is trying to give a new twist to the case by proving that Rohit is lying and that he was not present in college on that fateful day. This is really sad that neither the police nor the college or university concerned is sensitive towards ragging."
Rajeev Gandhi Proudyogiki Vishwavidyalaya (RGPV) dean student welfare (DSW) Anil Goyal appeared to be completely dismissive of ragging menace when he said that 90 per cent of complaints on the helpline were fake. "In most of the cases, the complainants don’t get identified. It appears to be a result of personal grudges between students rather than genuine incidents of ragging. However, in genuine cases, the administration has punished the accused. Recently, a student was suspended in Jabalpur after he was found to be involved in ragging. Similarly, students of Takshila Institute were also suspended for ragging a junior," he said.
Goyal, further, said, "In Oriental College’s incident, the victim failed to identify the accused, so it’s not the fault of the college administration." The Oriental College ragging case is not the only case in which accused are still out of reach. Recently, a second year student of Bansal Institute of Research, Technology and Science (BIRTS) was bashed up by seniors for wearing white shirt in place of blue shirt as dress code imposed by them mandates.
The college administration refused to acknowledge the incident as ragging as the victim was not a first year student. Moreover, the college administration suspended the victim with the accused students. Police also refused to take cognizance of the matter as ragging and said it was a case of group clash.
The only NIT of the state, Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology (MANIT) is notorious for ragging but there is hardly an example when a strict punishment has been handed down to errant students. In the third week of August, some junior students had lodged a complaint that seniors had hit them in a drunken state. The college administration allowed the accused to go scotfree after imposing on them personal bond of Rs 1 lakh. In another case, the administration gave it the colour of clash between pro and anti-Telangana students.
In Rewa, from where a large number of ragging complaints were lodged at the helpline, a first year student of a government engineering college quit the college stating in a letter that he was leaving his studies due to ragging.
An excellence college of Rewa district, TRS (autonomous) Post Graduate College, hit headlines several times for ragging but its principal AP Mishra has always refused to acknowledge the menace by terming the incidents as group clash and personal fights.
A first year student of Institute of Dental Education and Advanced Studies, Gwalior had lodged a complaint against seniors for ragging but after sometime the victim withdrew his complaint apparently under duress. No action has been taken against the three seniors who used to rag juniors.