|Anundoram Barooah Hostel
Guwahati, July 22: Several students of Anundoram Barooah Hostel of Cotton College were injured when principal Indra Kumar Bhattacharyya and a chowkidar of the hostel beat them up last night after they were found ragging new boarders.
The incident comes within days of the premier college of the region being upgraded to a university.
When contacted, Bhattacharyya told The Telegraph that ragging was going on when he arrived at the hostel. He tried to disperse the students with a few slaps on their faces. However, the chowkidar, Ganga Talukdar, started beating the students with a bamboo stick. Both juniors and seniors were injured in the incident.
The boarders said the hostel had a tradition of selecting the best newcomer every year and conferring the Best Fresher Award on him. Last night, an arm wrestling contest was going on when the principal and the chowkidar entered the hostel around 10.30pm. They said the contest had started at 10pm.
While the boarders said Ganga had left the hostel after the incident and there was no sign of him till now, the principal said he had taken leave today. The students alleged that Bhattacharyya appeared at the hostel along with the superintendent of SRB boys’ hostel, Manoranjan Boragohain (also in-charge of Anundoram Barooah Hostel), and the superintendent of SMH boys’ hostel, Arup Kalita, and the chowkidar.
Sources in the college said a guardian of a boarder informed the principal about the ragging. “Ganga was drunk. He started beating us up as if we were cattle,” a student who suffered injuries said. “A newcomer has also been injured,” he said.
No punitive action has been taken against any student till now. “It is because we could not identify which student/students were actually involved in the ragging,” Bhattacharyya said.
The principal said he had conducted four meetings in the hostel before the new session explaining the punishments to curb ragging in educational institutions. “I asked the students to refrain from ragging. Every day I have been visiting the hostels till 1pm and so I was angry,” Bhattacharyya said. He pointed out that earlier several incidents of ragging had taken place in the hostel.
The superintendent of the hostel Pradip Sharma is on leave and Manoranjan Borgohain is in charge of the hostel.
A new boarder of Rajanikanta Bordoloi Boys’ Hostel said during the last six days he has been in the hostel, the principal had not visited the hostel at night. “ our seniors ask us to dance and sing,” one of the newcomers said.