In a new twist to the alleged ragging incident reported from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) last week, a group of senior students and freshers have come out in the open challenging the charges.
JNU authorities rusticated nine students and expelled another 10 from the hostel soon after the news of ragging reached them.
Fourteen students from the Computer Science department have addressed individual letters to Vice-Chanchellor BB Bhattacharya, the Anti Ragging Committee and the Chief Proctor refuting the ragging charges.
Interestingly, one of the signatories in the letter campaign is Balbir Chand, the fresher who had lodged a complaint in the first place. Chand was unavailable for comment on why he filed the initial complaint.
Sneh Srivastava, a first semester MCA student said, “I was one of the four juniors in the room at the time. We had gone to the senior’s room to discuss an upcoming seminar. The anti-ragging squad just swooped in and without even listening to us concluded that we have been ragged.”
She added, “I have written three letters describing the sequence of event but the authorities were adamant on punishing the seniors.”
Rajesh Kumar, a recent pass out from the computer science department, said: “It is shocking that the authorities have paid no heed to the lives of the seniors involved before rusticating them. The evidence is as baseless as the charge and a clear divisive policy is evident,” he said.
The students fighting against the judgment claim that they took time to come out with the facts because they lack a proper union. Students from other departments feel, however, that this is a last ditch attempt to save the image of the department.
Says Neeraj Jha, a PhD student at School of International Studies (SIS), “It is difficult to ascertain the degree of ragging if it happened at all. Although I feel the punishment was harsh, the recent protest is just a way of saving face.”