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Ragged boy runs into transfer hurdle

Jalpaiguri, Aug. 8: The wounds still raw, Sayandip Bandopadhyay today said he would not continue at the Jalpaiguri Engineering College and requested the government to give him a seat in Jadavpur University.

“I came to know from newspapers that the higher education minister has said he would look into the matter and ensure that my career is not affected. Therefore, I should be allowed a seat in Jadavpur University in the same stream so that I can continue my education. I cannot continue at Jalpaiguri Engineering College, where I had a horrifying time,” said the boy from Calcutta, who ranked 1,631 in the Joint Entrance Examination.

Sayandip checked out of the hostel last morning, two days after he joined the college. On Tuesday evening, the first-year student of electronics and communications was “tortured” by seniors for several hours and made to pen a suicide note. The boy fled the hostel the next morning.

Four students, identified by Sayandip as his tormentors, have been arrested and sent to jail. Higher education minister Satyasadhan Chakraborty yesterday promised all help to the boy but said he would appeal to his father to allow him to continue in the Jalpaiguri college.

Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today promised “strong action” against the guilty.

But Sayandip is determined on shifting. “There is no question of continuing in this college. I am physically and mentally shattered. I feel that the sooner I leave this place, the better it will be for me,” said the alumnus of St James’ School, Calcutta, who was beaten with rods and slashed with knives and blades after being stripped during the ragging ordeal that ended past midnight on Tuesday.

But the authorities, though sympathetic, ruled out accommodating Sayandip in an engineering institute like Jadavpur. Director of technical education Amalendu Basu, who reached Jalpaiguri today, said the government would like Sayandip to continue here. “We will not spare the persons found guilty. But that does not mean that we would shift Sayandip to another college. We want him to continue his education here,” Basu said.

His colleague P.K. Das was more categorical. “We are ready to cooperate with him and ensure his security. But if Sayandip wants that he should be allotted a seat at Jadavpur University or at some institute near Calcutta, I am afraid that is not feasible. Even under special circumstances, such a change is not permissible as the allotments are made on the basis of rankings in the Joint Entrance Examination.”

The two officials visited the college campus today, where they met principal Shyam Sunder Chatterjee, members of the anti-ragging committees and the hostel superintendent. They also spoke to police officials and the first-year students in Sayandip’s hostel. “No other first-year student complained to us of a similar experience,” the officials said.

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