Ragging jail plan

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By OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT in Lucknow
  • Published 3.12.07
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Lucknow, Dec. 3: The Mayavati cabinet today approved a proposal for a two-year jail term for ragging offenders in educational institutions.

The Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Ragging Bill, 2007, is expected to be tabled in the Assembly during its special session beginning tomorrow. It draws heavily from a similar act in Maharashtra but has safeguards against its possible abuse.

If passed, the act will come into force by early next year in 15 engineering colleges run by the state and the central government, 21 universities and the 300-odd government-affiliated undergraduate and medical colleges in Uttar Pradesh.

The act will also be in force in the nearly 1,200 private institutions, education department officers said.

The Assembly had earlier this year set up a seven-member committee to recommend measures to curb ragging, which has turned into a recurring menace in the state.

The latest incident was on October 15, when an engineering student of a government polytechnic institute in Pratapgarh committed suicide by consuming poison in his hostel room, police sources said.

“The anti-ragging law has become an imperative in view of the increasing incidents of ragging in educational institutions,” cabinet secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh said.

The proposed act makes it mandatory for the head of an institution to probe a complaint within seven days of it being lodged and recommend penal action to the nearest police station. If he fails to do so, it would be treated as complicity and he might be liable for punitive action, Singh said.