The Orissa government has finally reacted to the brutal incident of ragging of a first year B.SC student belonging to Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT) after seven days. Agriculture minister Surendranath Naik, who is also the pro-chancellor of OUAT, sought a detailed report about the incident from the vice-chancellor on Tuesday.
Siba Shankar Ash suffered serious spinal injuries and broke both his legs after being allegedly pushed from a hostel terrace by senior students on October 10.
The agriculture minister told the Hindustan Times, "Ragging for fun is understood. But if the senior students cross all civilized norms and indulge in inhuman treatment, then the law has to take its own course. I have already asked for a report to be submitted before noon on Wednesday. Based on the findings of the report, we will take appropriate action."
Meanwhile, in a FIR, Ash has accused four 3rd year students — Anupam Satpathy, Aatish Kumar Sahu, Tarini Kumar Biswal and Aatish Kumar Acharya — of ragging and pushing him from the fourth floor of the hostel terrace. The FIR, signed by his father, Satyajit Ash, was sent on Tuesday by fax to Khurda SP Amitabh Thakur from Sambalpur. Copies of the FIR was also sent to the vice-chancellor, OUAT, principal, College of Agriculture, Bhubaneswar and chairman, Human Rights Commission, Bhubaneswar. A copy of the FIR is in possession of the Hindustan Times.
“My son remained unconscious for a considerable period of time and it is only on Monday he could utter the names of the accused,” Satyajit Ash said.
Orissa has an anti-ragging policy for the technical and engineering institutes and the rules so far did not apply to the students of the agriculture university. While the OUAT is governed by the agriculture department, the industry department looks after the technical and engineering institutes. The agriculture minister spoke to officials in the industry department on Tuesday to issue a similar anti-ragging policy for OUAT.
On September 18, 2006, the department of industry wrote to the director of technical education and training saying, "You are required to advise all institutions to take prompt legal action for rooting out ragging by expelling students indulging in the act and also to initiate legal action against them. In case the concerned institution fails to take such action, appropriate legal action will be initiated against the principal of the institution as well as the authorities of the institution by filing FIR against them by you for their failure to take action in this regard".
The same anti-ragging directive will soon be implemented for OUAT, sources said.