A team from Kharagpur Town police station went to the IIT campus on Thursday and spoke to the dean of students about complaints of harassment of some second-year students by seniors.
Earlier, the IIT Kharagpur security officer had lodged an FIR, stating that they had received an alert from the UGC’s anti-ragging portal about students in second year being harassed by those in the third and fourth years.
The West Midnapore district superintendent of police said they had sought a database of students from the IIT.
An FIR has been registered under IPC Sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 341 (wrongful restraint), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 34 (abetment).
The superintendent of police, Dhritiman Sarkar, told The Telegraph: “We have spoken to the dean of the IIT. The authorities have been asked to provide details and a 91 CrPC notice (summons to produce documents or other things) has been issued accordingly. The complainant has been identified. A database of the students has been sought from... IIT Kharagpur. All aspects are being looked into.”
This newspaper reported on Wednesday that a parent of a second-year student had lodged a complaint with the UGC’s anti-ragging helpline stating that some senior students were taking those in the third semester (second year) to their hostel late at night and forcing them “to dance and play games through the night”.
“Due to these incidents the victims are unable to study,” the complainant wrote.
Since the complaint did not name the seniors, the IIT lodged an FIR “against unknown persons”.
The dean of students, Bhargab Maitra, in an email to all students on Wednesday had said the student whose parent has lodged the complaint should send an email to his personal address “so that prompt and appropriate further action can be taken”.
Calls and text messages from this newspaper to the dean on Thursday failed to elicit any response.
The superintendent of police said they have activated the nodal anti-ragging cell of the district. Such cells have been made operational in all districts following the death of a Jadavpur University student, who was allegedly ragged and thrown from a second-floor balcony of the JU Main Hostel in August.
The education department launched district-wise nodal anti-ragging helplines in August following an instruction from chief minister Mamata Banerjee.
The complaint about the ragging at the IIT has surfaced at a time when the institute stands accused of not being able to carry out a fair probe into the death of its student Faizan Ahmed who, his parents alleged, was subjected to ragging at a hostel in February 2022.
Faizan, who was found dead on the campus in October 2022, was “threatened, humiliated and verbally abused” by senior students at a hostel, according to a report of the institute’s fact-finding committee that was submitted in the high court in January.
His family has accused the institute of stalling the probe.