The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Ragging drives student to suicide

Lucknow, Sept. 13: Ragging has driven to death a 19-year-old student of the Institute of Engineering and Technology here.

“My son has gone but save others,” his father told the management of the IET as the students and teachers gathered for a brief condolence meeting. He said his son, a first-year B.Tech student, had told the family that he was fed up with continued ragging by his seniors.

Anoop was forced to take the step within 10 days of attending the first semester. “They tortured me and indulged in the kind of ragging which I cannot tell you,” the father quoted Anoop as saying a day before he hanged himself at his home in Kanpur.

His classmates said they were beaten, forced to undress and make physical contact with each other by the seniors. “Anoop was picked up by 20 to 25 seniors on September 9 and was taken to some place where other first-year students were already present. He must have got the same treatment because he hesitated to narrate his tale of woe to his father,” said a student.

The ragging continued on the premises despite the authorities’ claim that eight teams — each with five teachers — had been formed for round-the-clock checking in the campus and the hostels.

“The institute has nearly 1,500 students. Around 300 are in the first year. We do not provide hostels to first-year students. It is not possible to keep track of each first-year student because they don’t live inside the campus,” director A.K. Khare said.

Following the suicide, the authorities have withdrawn the dress code (black pant, white shirt) for freshers.

A six-member inquiry committee has been formed to identify students who indirectly forced Anoop to end his life.

Khare claimed that he had given his mobile and residence phone numbers, along with that of other senior teachers, to each of the first-year student so that they can be contacted any time in case of a trouble.

“We are taking every possible step to minimise ragging and had even expelled two students on September 9 from the institute when their involvement in the ragging was confirmed,” he said.

The menace is not confined to the institute. Students had clashed on a new campus of the Lucknow University on September 12.

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