The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Law student faces tech torture

Raiganj, Sept. 5: The father of a first-year law student in Bolpur has brought charges of ragging against senior students of an engineering college there.

Bengal Law College and Bengal Institute of Technology and Management are adjacent institutions run by the same management — Multiple Education and Manpower Development Trust.

Sagnik Chakraborty said he had been scalded with burning cigarette butts, slapped around and made to walk on the railing of a terrace by students of the technology institute who often intercepted him on the way to college or to the nearby eatery.

Chandan Chakraborty brought back his son to his Ramendrapally residence here yesterday and filed a complaint with the Raiganj police station this morning.

The inspector-in-charge of Raiganj police station, Pradeep Chakrabarty, said the complaint would be forwarded to their counterparts in Bolpur. “We will then ask them whether they will make the inquiry or we will send our own team.”

A prescription of the doctor, who attended to Sagnik at the Raiganj district hospital a few hours after he arrived here yesterday, confirmed that the scalds were from burning cigarettes.

Sagnik’s college is in Daronda, 6km from Bolpur railway station. “I had been staying in a mess with some other law students, adjacent to the campus of the college and classes had begun last month. There was a freshers’ welcome in the first week of August, but there was no ragging on our campus,” Sagnik said.

The torture began a few days later when a group of senior students of the engineering college started taunting him whenever he walked to the small eatery where he had his meals. “On August 20 while I was returning to the mess after dinner they caught me in a dark alley. They slapped me when I threatened to shout for help. I was taken forcefully to their mess, where I was told to address my parents in filthy language. On refusing, they beat me up,” said Sagnik.

On Sunday, Sagnik was again picked up and taken to the terrace of a two-storied house, where the engineering students stay. There he was asked to walk on the railing. A few new students of the technology college were also there. They too, according to Sagnik, were newcomers and were being ragged.

“When I protested, they held burning cigarettes to my hands, legs and back. I risked walking the railing and when they let me go, I called up my parents. I can identify one of the senior students, who is from Agartala,” Sagnik said.

Chakraborty said he would have complained to the technology college authorities but for the owner of the mess where Sagnik was staying.

“He told me that the boys had come to know about my visit and would attack us. We hid in his house and managed to flee Bolpur in the cover of darkness on Monday,” said Chakrabarty, a teacher at a high school in Kaliaganj.

The teacher-in-charge of the law college, Subrata Roy, told The Telegraph that the culprits were not from his college. “Sagnik’s father complained to me over phone. I will get in touch with the technology college authorities after I receive a written complaint,” he said.

Subhendu Dey, the director of the technology institute, said he had no idea that such an incident has taken place.

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