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Ragging

Jadavpur University to miss hostel segregation deadline as seniors refuse to vacate premises

Around 15 senior students have refused to vacate the New Block Hostel, which JU has earmarked for first-year students to another facility, the officials said

Subhankar Chowdhury | Published 28.09.23, 07:12 AM
The JU Main Hostel, where a first-year student was allegedly ragged and pushed to death

The JU Main Hostel, where a first-year student was allegedly ragged and pushed to death

Gautam Bose

Jadavpur University will miss the deadline for hostel segregation for first-year students as seniors staying at a hostel earmarked for freshers are refusing to move out, officials said.

The deadline for the hostel segregation was September 30.

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Around 15 senior students have refused to vacate the New Block Hostel, which JU has earmarked for freshers, to another facility, the officials said.

Officiating vice-chancellor Buddhadeb Sau said a task that had been pending since 2009, the year the UGC had issued a guideline on hostel segregation, is awaiting a response from the students’ welfare board.

The university’s failure to ensure that first-year students don’t share hostel space with seniors acquires more significance because of a UGC communication to JU registrar Snehamanju Basu on September 12 that says: “Freshers are not lodged in a separate hostel block; all students are kept mixed in the hostel”.

The UGC told the registrar to respond to this.

“This hostel segregation issue has remained pending since 2009. I want the students’ welfare board to look into the matter seriously,” Sau told Metro on Wednesday. “I have told the board to complete the task by October 10.”

This newspaper had on September 22 reported that the students’ welfare board had decided that the JPJU quarters (staff quarters) and the New Block Hostel would be reserved for newcomers.

A sub-committee has been constituted to supervise the shift of the seniors staying at the New Block Hostel.

Sau had last week told this newspaper that the classes for the first-year engineering students would start in early October, which meant the separate facility for new-comers would have to be readied by September 30.

“If we cannot do that by the deadline, the regulatory bodies like UGC will have to be informed,” he had said.

A JU professor said the 15 senior students (staying at the New Block Hostel), who are in the second, third and fourth years, are unwilling to stay at the PG (postgraduate) hostels because they are scared of those who are senior to them.

“We have told the students’ union leaders to speak to these students to sort this out. I don’t know how the registrar will respond to the UGC on this issue,” he said.

It is not the first time that the hostel segregation has met with resistance.

This newspaper had on August 20 reported that a decision to earmark New Boys’ Hostel for first-year students had to be abandoned as the move triggered protests. Postgraduate students at the hostel had refused to shift.

Several first-year students who stayed in the A-1 and A-2 blocks of the JU Main Hostel were temporarily shifted to New Boys’ Hostel on August 10, hours after a first-year student who stayed in the main hostel was allegedly killed by senior students.

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The council, the highest decision-making body of JU, decided at a meeting on Tuesday that the 13 students who are behind bars in connection with the death of the first-year student would not be allowed to enter the campus and the hostel until they prove their innocence.

Last updated on 28.09.23, 07:13 AM
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