The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Transfer order for SFI torture victim

Chinsurah, Jan. 14: An engineering student who had alleged that SFI leaders and their cronies in the college had forced her to kiss two of them, consume liquor and smoke as part of a welcome has been transferred to a different institution.

Sayeri Majumdar, a first-year electrical engineering student of the state-run Hooghly Institute of Technology, was shifted to Maharaja Bijoy Chand Institute of Technology and Engineering in Burdwan yesterday, four months after she had made the complaint.

Three other first-year students ' Joyjit Pal, Kaushik Das and Aranya Chatterjee ' who had backed their friend in her fight against the torture have also been transferred.

Pal, a civil engineering student, was shifted to K.G. Engineering Institute in Bishnupur, Bankura. Das, a chemical engineering student, was sent to Dr Meghnath Saha Institute of Technology, Haldia, and Chatterjee of electrical engineering to I.C.V. Polytechnic, Krishnagar.

The dozen against whom the allegations were made are under suspension.

The Hooghly institute authorities were not forthcoming in assigning a definite reason behind the shift orders, but district officials put it as 'security concerns'.

Sayeri said: 'This is sheer injustice. We got the transfer order, signed by the secretary of the West Bengal State Council of Technical Education, yesterday. But we are yet to know the reason behind it.'

The three others shifted accompanied Sayeri when she met district magistrate Roshni Sen.

'What is our fault' she asked and asserted that she did not repent moving against the SFI supporters.

The district magistrate offered the security theory. 'A dozen SFI members have been suspended. The college authorities feel it will be safer if she and the other three are transferred,' said Sen.

Asked if there was any allegation against Sayeri and the trio, Sen replied in the affirmative. 'We are probing the complaints lodged by the SFI members against them,' she said.

Sayeri had lodged a complaint with the institute's principal, Ashok Kumar De, on September 26. The SFI activists, she had said, harassed students who had just joined in the canteen of the college here, about 55 km from Calcutta.

There was more than one instance of ragging. The first time the juniors were accosted was on August 8. 'Then on September 25, some SFI leaders again confined me and some of my friends to the canteen and forced us to sign a paper saying we misbehaved in a drunken state. On the basis of that paper, they demanded that I be rusticated,' Sayeri recounted.

The series of incidents was under wraps till she lodged the complaint.

Sayeri said: 'The order was issued on December 2, but we received it yesterday.' De did not deny the delay. He said the notice was not served earlier because of the first semester examinations.

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