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Ragging FIR after nude walk

Durgapur, Nov. 7: A first-year student of the state-run polytechnic school in Asansol lodged an FIR last night against seniors who paraded him in the nude and walked out of the hostel today.

Reuben Thoudam, 21, a mining engineering student from Manipur, lodged the FIR with the Asansol (North) police station, naming eight senior students.

Apurba Kabiraj, the acting principal, said he has sent the complaint to the anti-ragging committee. “The panel, comprising the principal, general secretary of the students’ union and a teachers’ representative, will probe the allegation. We have also informed the director of technical education about the incident,” he said.

Thoudam, who came to Asansol from Imphal in August after qualifying in a joint entrance examination, said: “Ever since I joined the institute, I have been ragged by students belonging to the second and final year classes. My friend Chandan and I were their main targets. It will be costly for me to make private arrangements outside the campus, but I have no option.”

Thoudam’s classmate Chandan Roy had left the hostel before the puja vacation after making a similar complaint. The two-storeyed hostel on the campus accommodates 45 students. Chandan is not one of them now. He lives outside.

According to the FIR, eight senior students forced Thoudam to walk on the hostel’s veranda nude. He said he spent sleepless nights in fear of the senior students. “They also did not allow me to drink water for three to four hours after dinner and lunch and threatened to shave my head if I complained to the principal against them.”

However, the officer-in-charge of Asansol (North) Samaresh Dey said: “We cannot take any action till the polytechnic school authorities officially lodge a complaint against the eight students named in the FIR.”

Chandan came to see his friend today. “I was also tortured the same way and forced to leave the hostel,” he said.

Somnath Ganguly, a third-year student and one of those named in the FIR, pleaded innocent: “We are being framed. The truth will come out after investigation.” Anuj Sharma, another accused, nodded in support.

Kabiraj admitted that he had received complaints against ragging earlier. “But in most cases the victims withdraw their complaints and prefer to opt for private accommodation,” the head of the college said.

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