The Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) administration has constituted a 10-member committee and a 15-member flying squad to prevent ragging on the campus.
PMCH sources on Tuesday said all fresh 100 students, who took the Hippocratic oath on Monday, have been provided with cellphone numbers of anti-ragging team members in case they faced any adverse situation. Hippocratic oath is the swearing by medical professionals to practise medicine ethically and honestly.
“We have circulated the coordinates of the team members among the students. If they are bothered by their seniors either in the college or in the hostel, they must report the incident to us. Ragging in no form will be tolerated on the campus,” PMCH principal Dr N.P. Yadav said. Classes for the 2012-2013 academic session at PMCH began on Monday.
Though ragging was completely banned in the college several years ago, incidents keep getting reported on and off. In January 2011, a first-year student, Sunny Kumar Raushan, committed suicide by hanging himself in a Patna City lodge. His family had alleged mental harassment by his seniors.
Though college authorities denied ragging as the reason behind the incident, officials have taken several measures to ensure that no fresher was subjected to any kind of physical and mental abuse by sections of the seniors in the name of ragging.
Many PMCH doctors said there was no appropriate law to deal with ragging cases and IPC sections are “a bit too tough” for the offenders, most of whom are senior students.
“In cases of ragging, the accused are slapped with sections 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt) and 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means) of IPC, 143 which is applicable in case of unlawful assembly, 147 for rioting and section 149 under which persons present on the scene but did not take part in committing the crime are booked. Thankfully, no PMCH student has been found guilty of carrying out ragging in a long time,” said Dr. Amarkant Jha Amar, admission-in charge, PMCH.
He was, however, quick to add that those caught ragging would be dealt with strictly. “They will be rusticated from college or suspended. We have been warning senior MBBS students in the college not to indulge in any unhealthy interaction with the freshers. Those violating the instructions will land in serious trouble,” Jha said.
A first-year student said on the first day of the college, they interacted with seniors. “Things never went out of control because of the presence of a large number of teachers,” he said.
“Some students were made to sing and dance by their seniors. But it was in good humour. The real scare is during the we spend at hostels, which are known for hooliganism by senior students. We hope that the authorities’ assurance does not prove hollow,” said another first-year student.