17 students in Himahcal fined for not reporting ragging


Two expelled for ragging

Shimla: Getting tough to contain ragging, Agriculture University, Palampur not only fined and expelled two of the perpetrators but also fined the victims of ragging as well as those who were witness to it for maintaining a silence on the incident.

Armed with The Himachal Pradesh Educational Institutions (Prohibition of Ragging) Bill 2009 that the state expressly enacted following the murder of Aman Kacharoo by ragging in Tanda Medical College, Kangra, institution administrators and education authorities have become vigilant towards the menace and are making efforts to stamp it out.

Palampur Agriculture University expelled two MSc first year students for the 2008-09 academic year after they were indicted by an inquiry set up by the management committee over a ragging incident, a government spokesman stated. A fine of Rs 25,000 was also imposed. The case was brought to the notice of the vice-chancellor in November, 2008, who had ordered the inquiry.

Going beyond punishing the perpetrators by taking recourse to Raghvan Committee recommendations on ragging – ‘those who do not report even when being witnesses or victims, should also be punished suitably’ – the university also punished three other BSc Agriculture (Hons) students, who the inquiry established though were victims of the same ragging incident but had not reported it to the authorities. All 3 were put on a years’ probation and fined Rs 5,000 each, the spokesman said.

Four students, who were members of the university anti-ragging committed were fined for Rs 3,500 each for suppressing information and another 10 students, who were present at the time of ragging but chose to remain silent, were fined Rs 2,500 each for suppressing information and not reporting the incident.

Measure like running a sensitization program for students and their parents about ragging being a cognizable, non-bailable, non-compoundable offence with grave consequences to a students future and setting up anti-ragging committees at college and hostel levels is contributing towards preventing ragging, said a agriculture university spokesman. Ragging will not be tolerated is the clear message, he added.

The stringent anti-ragging 2009 bill, which the Himachal assembly adopted in August, has made provisions for punishment and fine, which may extend up to three years imprisonment and a fine up to Rs 50,000 for any student found guilty of ragging. One indicted over ragging would stand expelled for a period of three years and would become ineligible for admission to any other institution.

Culpability of institution heads, if established, in not taking action against culprits could land one with a two year jail term and also be liable for a Rs 25,000 fine.

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