The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Kneel-down torture in engineering college

Durgapur Aug. 20: A first-year civil engineering student was beaten up and forced to kneel down for over two hours by his seniors at the National Institute of Technology hostel here on Friday evening.

Swapnil Sharma is still in a trauma and scared to speak. He has been treated at the college health centre and advised bed rest.

Institute director Swapan Bhattacharya said two students of electronics engineering — Diwik Tiwari of second year and Jitendra Sharma of the final year — have been suspended.

Ragging raised its ugly head for the second time in a month at the institute, formerly known as Regional Engineering College.

A second-year civil engineering student had accused seniors of torturing him then.

Swapnil’s father P.K. Sharma, an engineer with the Madhya Pradesh irrigation department, has taken up his son’s predicament with the Union ministry of human resource development. After being informed by the ministry about the incident, Burdwan district magistrate Subrata Gupta instructed Durgapur subdivisional officer Balaram Dey to begin an investigation.

Sharma called up Dey last evening and requested him to look after his son’s well being and security. He has left Gwalior for Durgapur.

Swapnil, who took admission on August 10, muttered that the seniors used to taunt him since he stepped into the institute. They often came to his room in the middle of the night and misbehaved.

“On Friday evening, they called me to their hostel around 7 pm and forced me to kneel down till 9. They also beat me with wooden rulers and punched me on my abdomen and head,” he said.

Injury marks on his forehead and cheek are still visible.

The subdivisional officer met Swapnil and the college authorities today.

The director of the institute said its own probe had found Tiwari and Sharma guilty.

“If Swapnil’s father wants to take his son home to help him recover, we will allow him to do so,” Bhattacharya added.

On July 27, Aditya Lama a third-year civil engineering student, and Tanmay Saha, a computer science and engineering student of the same batch, were suspended by the institute’s anti-ragging committee for assaulting Deepra Sarkar of the second year.

After the incident, hostel wardens had been put on alert, but that proved insufficient this time. “It is unfortunate,” the director said.

An institute official said the college was prompt in punishing the guilty on this occasion because the victim was the son of a senior government official.

Second-year electrical engineering student Swadesh Sarkar was arrested last September for ragging Himangshu Sarkar, a fresher in the information technology department, who complained only when he could no longer bear the “torture”.

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