The rising incidents of ragging in various educational institutes, including schools, have prompted the administration to wake up and spread awareness on a war footing.
The Bidhannagar City Police is one such agency that has launched an awareness programme in educational institutes under the jurisdiction of Bidhannagar Commissionerate.
After the incident in Dum Dum’s Christ Church School, where a student of Class 5 student died after allegedly being harassed by seniors, the Bidhannagar Commissionerate plans to extend the anti-ragging awareness programme to schools.
“We had launched anti-ragging awareness programmes in colleges and technical institutes a month ago. Now, we are thinking about carrying out such awareness programmes in schools too. At present, we sensitise school students on cyber crime and we would add the ragging awareness programme also,” said Santi Das, assistant commissioner of police (detective department) of Bidhannagar City Police and the nodal officer of the anti-ragging programme.
“We visit educational institutes and make students aware of the legal aspects related to ragging. We tell them about the consequences one has to face if one is involved in ragging,” she said. “We keep telling institutes that they should have an antiragging cell and try to involve the local police and an NGO,” Das said.
During the awareness programme, the police team gave students a helpline number and police control room number so that victims of ragging could get in touch with the police at the earliest.
So far, in one month the antiragging awareness programme has been carried out in various management colleges, hotel management institutes, engineering colleges, NIFT and NUJS, among others.
The police, during the antiragging awareness campaign, came across a number of questions or cases, which the police feel are quite alarming.
One boy student told the police that a girl started blackmailing him when he refused to accept her proposal. The girl had threatened the boy that she would lodge a false complaint against him if he did not accept her proposal.
A junior student who did not want to contribute for teachers’ day celebration initially told his seniors that he would contribute on August 32, 2013.
When seniors told him that there could not be a date - August 32, 2013, the junior student threatened the seniors saying that he would tell the authorities of the college that seniors always bullied him.
In another strange case, classmates of a Rajarhat school beat up a student because his father had a good physique.
Though outside the purview of the Bidhannagar police, the incident has turned a case study for the cops.
“We deal with such cases with great care where false allegations or complaints are made. In case a woman comes up with a complaint, we first judge the complaint and bring both sides face to face. Action is taken if the complaint is found to be true. First, it is up to the authorities of the institute concerned to take action. Since we are a law enforcing agency, we take steps only when an FIR is filed,” explained Das.
On August this year, BESU authorities punished some students after they were found guilty of ragging and on Wednesday Jadavpur University also took action against two students by barring them from taking semester examinations.
While one student was barred for two semesters, the other was suspended for one semester.
Both of them were also expelled from their hostel.