New Delhi: The Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IIT-K), in a first of its kind decision, suspended 22 second year B.Tech students on Tuesday for ragging their juniors. Sixteen of the students were suspended for a period of three years and six for a year, according to reports.
In a meeting held on Monday night, the IIT-K senate – the institution’s top most decision-making body – decided to suspend the students after they were found guilty of forcing juniors to strip and do objectionable acts during their ragging session on August 19 and 20, reported the Hindustan Times. This was recorded on mobile phones and circulated on social media groups.
“These students will not be allowed to stay on campus and can resume studies when their suspension ends. The decision taken today would send a strong message to students to say no to ragging and maintain decorum,” IIT-K’s deputy director Manindra Agarwal told the Times of India.
The 16 students were suspended for three years because the charges against them were extremely serious, Agarwal told HT. Senior students do not have the right to appeal for mercy while they are suspended and can only do so once the period ends, and they will then be allowed to take admission to the course.
Thirty students from the batch of juniors filed a complaint to the dean of student affairs against 50 senior students. In the complaint, they said they had been beaten, abused and forced to do inhuman acts on August 20. The student affairs dean then passed the complaint on to the anti-ragging committee for enquiry, which found 24 of the students were involved in the incident. The committee then recommended they be suspended and that a police complaint be registered against them.
Action against the students was expedited after a professor wrote a blog about the incident, the HT report said. In September, the IIT-K senate suspended the students from from the hostel and the ongoing session of the course.
Despite ragging being outlawed on campuses in the country, new students in colleges often face abuse by seniors. In 2009, the University Grants Commission had set up an anti-ragging helpline following the death of first-year medical student Aman Kachroo in Himachal Pradesh. Kachroo’s death had sparked nation-wide outrage and protests.