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Besu ragging plea sent back

Governor M.K. Narayanan has sent back to Besu an appeal by five students found guilty of ragging that their punishment be revoked.

The governor, also chancellor of the university, wrote to the authorities about a fortnight ago, asking them to look into the issue for “necessary action”.

Vice-chancellor Ajoy Kumar Ray, who has forwarded the chancellor’s letter to Besu’s anti-ragging committee, said: “The chancellor has asked us to look into the matter for necessary action. We are unlikely to revoke the punishment.”

A Besu official said: “The chancellor has not written that he is revoking the punishment. Then how can we revoke it?”

The Besu authorities had expelled five second-year students last August for a year for ragging a junior. A sixth second-year student, who apparently knew about the ragging but kept mum, was expelled from the hostel for a year.

The sixth student, unlike the others, has not been barred from attending classes or writing exams.

In November, the Besu had left it to Narayanan to decide whether or not the punishment slapped on five of the six students found guilty of ragging could be revoked. The UGC anti-ragging guideline says the chancellor of state-aided universities is the appellate authority in such cases.

The five students who are not being allowed to attend classes or write exams had appealed to the university for revocation of the punishment and permission to write the semester exam in November. “We have forwarded their prayers to the chancellor,” VC Ray had said then.

On Thursday, Ray said the students should use the suspension period to study. “They have not attended the practical classes. Hence, they can’t be allowed to write the theory papers.”

Raj Bhavan sources said the mother of one of the five students has sought an appointment with the chancellor, possibly to plead for the revocation of the punishment.

“She is unlikely to be granted an appointment as the chancellor has left the issue to the university.”

University sources said the mother was planning to challenge the inquiry that held her son and others guilty of ragging.

The students who have been suspended may find it difficult to secure placement. “Before recruitment, a company checks whether the candidate has completed his/her course on time. If the company gets to know that the candidate took more than the stipulated time because of a disciplinary action against him/her, it may not recruit the candidate,” said the official.