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FIR lodged against two staff, five students of IIT Kharagpur

Move linked to ragging complaint filed by Faizan Ahmed in February 2022

Monalisa Chaudhuri, Subhankar Chowdhury | Published 22.02.23, 07:14 AM
File picture of a memorial service for Faizan Ahmed at the Lala Lajpat Rai Hall of Residence in IIT Kharagpur

File picture of a memorial service for Faizan Ahmed at the Lala Lajpat Rai Hall of Residence in IIT Kharagpur

Paschim Medinipur police have started a suo motu case against five students and two employees of IIT Kharagpur in connection with a ragging complaint filed by Faizan Ahmed in February 2022, around eight months before the third-year student was found dead in a hostel room in October.

The police said they had found evidence to support the allegation of ragging against Faizan in February, based on which the FIR had been drawn.


“Five students and two staff, including a warden, have been charged under IPC sections related to voluntarily causing hurt, criminal intimidation, disobedience of order duly promulgated by a public servant, causing disappearance of evidence of an offence or giving false information to screen offender and common intention. Also, action has been initiated by Kharagpur Town police station under Section 4 of the West Bengal Prohibition of Ragging in Educational Institution Act, 2000,” an officer said.

The officer said the warden of a hostel was aware of the alleged harassment of Faizan but did not alert the IIT authorities. That, the officer said, was suppression of facts.

A petition filed by Faizan’s parents says the students had declined to be part of an “assimilation programme” at the Rajendra Pratap Hall of Residence in February and March 2022, which led to the alleged harassment and ragging.

The assimilation programme, the petition says, was a “glorified term” for “collective ragging”.

Faizan was among several students who had complained about the harassment to wardens.

The superintendent of police, Paschim Medinipur, Dinesh Yadav, said the district police had started a suo motu case, based on which an investigation had been initiated.

An officer involved in the investigation said the persons named in the FIR would be questioned, “as and when required”.

“They have already been examined before and will be called again as and when required,” the officer said.

The Paschim Medinipur police have launched an anti-ragging helpline (7076767575) where incidents of ragging can be reported, an officer said.

Calcutta High Court had on November 11 ordered the director of IIT Kharagpur, V.K.Tewari, to file a report on November 21 stating the steps the institute had taken — based on the Supreme Court’s guidelines — in regard to an assimilation programme.

The report the director submitted said follow-up action from the warden’s office on the complaint of ragging lodged by Faizan was limited to suspending the event (assimilation programme) and intimating the complainants about the steps taken.

The high court on December 1 asked the director to appear in court after expressing dissatisfaction with the report.

When director Tewari appeared in the court on January 20, Justice Rajasekhar Mantha accused the IIT authorities of “trying to cover up” the death of a student.

After all these prodding, finally an FIR has been registered, said an IIT professor.

Sources at the IIT said the institute would take action against those named in the FIR.

The police said the FIR was not related to the unnatural death of the student.

“That is a separate matter. As directed by the court, we have submitted a report of our findings. The court has entrusted a retired officer of the rank of additional director-general of police (CID) to assess and verify the forensic reports and the post-mortem report and submit them before the court. The FIR drawn is not related to the death,” said a senior officer of the district police.

Last updated on 22.02.23, 07:14 AM

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