Bengal mulling law against ragging

Kolkata, Sep 23 : Coming down heavily on perpetrators of recent ragging incidents in West Bengal, Education Minister Bratya Basu Monday indicated the government would come out with legislation to curb the menace.

"We will control this long standing problem in our state. Whether it is at the administrative level or the legal system, we will take strong steps. Obviously the legal system will play an important role," said Basu.

In the last couple of weeks, two isolated incidents have drawn criticism from the minister who has requested those "indulging in bullying for fun" to think about the consequences.

Two Jadavpur University students were suspended Sep 11 after a second year engineering student complained to the University Grants Commission (UGC) that he was beaten up last month.

A final year student of construction engineering was suspended for two semesters and a fourth year student of the printing technology department was given a one-semester suspension.

Angry over the punitive measures, hundreds of students of the university here laid siege to its administrative office forcing top functionaries including the vice-chancellor to stay put in their offices for 51 hours.

Now the students have launched a relay hunger strike demanding a fresh probe by the anti-ragging committee.

In another incident, Oindrila Das, a Class 5 student at the Christ Church School at Dum Dum in North 24 Parganas district, died Sep 11, a week after she was allegedly locked up inside the school toilet by some of her seniors who demanded money from her as part of ragging.

A day after her death, hundreds of people - mostly guardians and locals - ransacked the 131-year-old school and forced principal Helen Sircar to resign. Hours later, she was arrested.

She got bail only after spending three days in custody.

--IANS (Posted on 23-09-2013)

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