The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Ragging whip on colleges

Calcutta, Nov. 8: The higher education department has removed the hostel superintendent of Jalpaiguri Engineering College, Swapan Nandy, and dissolved its anti-ragging committee after an on-the-spot inquiry into the ragging of a fresher in August.

Amelendu Bose, the director of technical education who was in Jalpaiguri for the inquiry, today said in Calcutta the panel did not function properly. “Besides, there were lapses on the part of the hostel superintendent.” Higher education secretary Jawhar Sircar said the college has been asked to reconstitute the committee to make it more effective.

First-year student Sayandip Bandopadhyay has complained in his FIR that he was “tortured” by seniors in the hostel.

The department has also sought a report from the Asansol polytechnic school authorities on Thursday’s ragging in which Reuben Thoudam, a student from Imphal, was made to walk nude by some seniors. The first-year student, who left the hostel yesterday, was today admitted to the subdivisional hospital with chest pains. A classmate, Chandan Roy, had left the hostel earlier after complaining against torture.

All the eight students named in Thoudam’s FIR were arrested last night by Asansol police. They were produced in the subdivisional judicial magistrate’s court today and granted bail.

Thoudam alleged he was under pressure from senior students and polytechnic authorities to “mutually settle the matter”.

The principal of the polytechnic, Subhasish Mukherjee, however, was dismayed by the police action. “How can they arrest the students without receiving any official complaint from us'” Mukherjee said the matter could be resolved mutually but evaded questions on punishing the accused if they are found guilty.

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