The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Ragged, sent off campus
- College seniors gang up Against fresher

Suman Das’s first day in a private engineering college turned out to be his last there, when the boy from Jadavpur was brutally ragged by seniors and then ordered to leave the campus by the principal.

According to a complaint lodged with Jadavpur police station by Shankar Ranjan Das, his 18-year-old son was kicked, punched and slashed by students of Saroj Mohan Institute of Technology in Guptipara in the classroom on Thursday.

Suman, who is now under observation at MR Bangur Hospital in Tollygunge, had secured 86 per cent marks in Higher Secondary and then cleared the joint entrance exams to gain admission to the mechanical engineering stream in Saroj Mohan Institute of Technology in Hooghly district.

According to the complaint, the father and son had gone to the institute on Thursday morning. Trouble started as soon as Suman entered the classroom. Some seniors surrounded him and demanded to know why he was in jeans and why his hair was not cut short.

When Suman replied he was not aware of a dress code, his seniors pounced on him and started beating him up.

“They rained blows on his head, stomach and chest,” said Das. “Suman slumped to the floor and somehow managed to call me from his cellphone.”

Das, who had not yet left the campus, rushed to the classroom. But when he tried to rescue his son, even he was not spared. “Some senior students started punching me, while the others kept beating up my son. I finally managed to rescue him from the mob and run towards the principal’s office,” Das said. “I thought we would be safe there, but the seniors barged in, pushing us aside.”

In front of principal M.K. Biswas, the ragging brigade turned the tables on Suman, accusing the new boy of hitting them and blaming him for the fracas.

“I was shocked at this,” Das said. “As I protested, the students surrounded me and started demanding Rs 15,000, apparently for a cellphone one of them had lost in the skirmish.”

Das refused to pay up and tried to tell the principal what had happened. “But instead of listening to me, he asked me to leave the institution with my son at once and never return,” recounted the father, shattered by the ragging and the attitude of the authorities.

Biswas dismissed the allegations and said: “If the students were the first to lodge a complaint against Suman Das, how can you call this a case of ragging' We will probe the incident and then decide what action to take.”

Suman was taken to MR Bangur Hospital, where doctors immediately advised hospitalisation. “He has suffered bruises from kicks and punches, and there are even slashes and cuts on his arms,” said a hospital spokesperson.

This comes three months after the Supreme Court ruled that for every incident of ragging, where the victim or his parents are not satisfied with the educational institution’s arrangements, an FIR must be filed by the institution.

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