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Ragging in BIT Meshra - Six Senior suspends and fined

Ranchi, Aug. 17: Birla Institute of Technology (BIT), Mesra, has suspended and fined six second-year students for ragging freshers during the first week of August, the first such action initiated by the deemed university two years after the Supreme Court advocated stringent punishment to curb such malpractice.

BIT identified the guilty students as Abhimanyu Setia, Ashutosh Pratik, Lakhan Rastogi, Himanshu Aggarwal, Shashank Singh and Kumar Abhisek, but refused to divulge the number and identity of the freshers who were their targets.

Setia and Pratik were given the maximum punishment — suspension for a year, which means they lose two semesters, and a fine of Rs 50,000 each. Rastogi and Aggarwal were fined Rs 20,000 each, with both losing a semester each. Singh and Abhisek were fined Rs 10,000 each.

Anand Kumar Sinha, the dean of students' welfare who also heads BIT's anti-ragging committee constituted as per UGC guidelines, told The Telegraph the complaints levelled by a group of juniors against the six seniors were "proved" after a thorough investigation by the 10-member panel.

The committee, that also includes a chief medical officer, recommended its findings to senior authorities and the registrar accordingly issued a notification specifying the quantum of punishment given to the erring students on August 12.

Without elaborating, Sinha said the victims had complained that the seniors used to call them to their hostels "with ulterior motives" in the evenings during the first week of August.

Even the BIT vice-chancellor, P.K. Barhai, refused to divulge the identity of the victims, citing a UGC directive. "Freshers being called by seniors to their hostel came under the purview of ragging and was thus tantamount to punishment," he said.

BIT's anti-ragging committee was reconstituted this year as per UGC guidelines.

In 2007, the Supreme Court came out with a directive advocating stringent action against senior students involved in ragging. Terming ragging as "human rights abuse in essence", the apex court once again directed educational institutions to take stringent measures against ragging, even filing criminal cases against erring students. Source:The Telegraph.

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