Allegations made by a first-year student of South Calcutta Law College suggest that the authorities, from his college to police, at various levels failed to react on time after he and his family had lodged multiple ragging complaints.
Over the past week, the father of the student lodged complaints with Kasba police station twice — on December 2 and 7. The student himself lodged a complaint with the UGC’s anti-ragging helpline on December 3 and the college authorities on December 5.
But he allegedly kept receiving threats and was assaulted reportedly by senior students who are members of TMCP’s students’ unit in the college.
The college authorities on Friday, December 9, constituted a fact-finding committee to look into the allegations. The committee has been asked to submit a report within 15 days.
The student, a south Kolkata resident, said he could never imagine that a meeting with the college authorities on December 7, in response to a complaint of ragging, would end in an assault.
The student and his father and brother were allegedly assaulted by a group of students and some outsiders after that meeting on Wednesday.
“I went to the college with my parents because they were asked to meet the authorities after I lodged a complaint with the vice-principal on December 5 stating that I had been ragged in the students’ union office on December 2. But what happened thereafter was a case of further assault. This time, my brother and father, and I were assaulted,” the student said.
According to the December 7 complaint, three of them were assaulted by students’ union members and some suspected former students in front of the teacher-in-charge, Nayna Chatterji, and the president of the college’s governing body, Ashok Deb.
The alleged assault happened just outside the room of Chatterji, who is also vice-principal of the college. The first-year student alleged that his mother was pushed. When he tried to film the “assault”, he said, his phone and that of his brother were snatched.
“I am unhappy with the police because my torment increased after I lodged the first complaint,” the student said.
In the complaint lodged with the UGC’s anti-ragging helpline on December 3, the student wrote: “Some senior students of my college are regularly threatening and bullying me, right after my admission, forcefully demanding me to join their union, take part in union activities and pay a subscription to their union. They cautioned me that, if their instructions are not followed, there will be consequences.
The UGC usually forwards ragging complaints to the respective institutions for action.
Asked whether she had received any such communiqué from the UGC, teacher-in-charge Nayna Chatterji told The Telegraph in a text message: “Fact-finding committee has been constituted by the governing body within a short time. We will submit the report as directed by the governing body.”
Earlier in the day, college governing body president and Trinamul MLA Ashok Deb attended a meeting on the campus that decided to set up the fact-finding committee. Repeated calls and text messages to Deb from this newspaper failed to elicit any response.
An FIR drawn up based on the complaint by the student’s father says the accused “Deblina (Das) and other students’ union members” have been slapped with IPC Sections 342 (punishment for wrongful confinement), 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 379 (punishment for theft) and 34 (when a criminal act is done by several persons in furtherance of the common intention of all).
A senior officer said: “We are conducting a detailed probe based on the FIR. A student of the college lodged a complaint of molestation against the first-year student on December 8. That is being probed as well.”
Deblina, president of the South Calcutta Law College unit of Trinamul Chhatra Parishad, said: “The student was harassing a fellow student. We warned him for that. Now he is making baseless allegations against seniors.”
The first-year student denied the allegations.