The students’ basic contention is that what had happened was not ragging, but according to the definition (of ragging), what had happened was indeed ragging because there was continuity in the action of the accused.
If a person in the heat of the moment slaps someone it does not amount to sexual assault, but if the person stalks someone continuously it certainly amounts to one.
The student who was ragged last month had kept two other students from the hills in his hostel room because they were not getting accommodation elsewhere. It was not illegal because he had signed them in. But some seniors took objection to it and shouted at him, banged on the door and broke the windows of his room. The student, who was in the washroom, came back and asked the seniors why they had not waited for him.
He was asked to apologise and a scuffle followed, during which he was slapped. But the incident was smoothed over by sensible seniors and the victim had not complained. He also asked his roommates to leave. But the next day there was human excreta outside his room, after which he lodged a complaint on the UGC helpline.
Some of the students felt the punishment meted out to the two accused was too harsh. They feel so because the accused are fourth-year students and will be losing a year.
The VC acted in the best interests of the university and according to UGC rules, failure to adhere to anti-ragging guidelines could lead to severe repercussions for the university, such as suspension of grant or even de-recognition. All activities of the university will then come to a halt.
|VC Souvik Bhattacharyya (face circled) leaves his office after the siege was lifted|
Within a few hours of the complaint being lodged, the UGC called up our VC to find out what steps he was taking and he immediately set the machinery into action. There were follow-up calls and... the anti-ragging committee was set into action.
The guidelines mention that if the perpetrators cannot be identified, there will be collective punishment, which could be against all the inmates of the hostel.
Students should go through the UGC Regulation on Curbing the Menace of Ragging in Higher Educational Institutions, 2009.