A total of 164 ragging cases and 19 deaths related to the menace were reported across the country during the July 2009-June 2010, a report by the Coalition to Uproot Ragging from Education (CURE) says.
Four suicide attempts were also reported during this period. Two of these cases involved girls, among whom the incidents of ragging have gone up phenomenally. Four girls have also fallen victim to the menace in the last academic year.
These figures are nearly double the 2008-09 count. The number of deaths reported is also more, with seven more cases in 2009-10 as compared to the 2008-09 figure.
Ironically, the increase in ragging cases could be due to wider coverage by the media. However, the increase in the number of deaths is a matter of concern.
Uttar Pradesh reported 26 ragging cases, followed by Andhra Pradesh with 18, Tamil Nadu 14, Kerala 13 and West Bengal 11. Tamil Nadu is a new entrant to this list. Maharashtra registered four deaths, West Bengal four and Punjab three.
In 56 of the 164 cases, students suffered injuries, including permanent disability. Around 22 per cent involved sexual abuse. Twenty-four cases led to serious group clashes and violence among students. Drug abuse, alcoholism, extortion, caste difference or regionalism were noted in 19 cases.
The most shocking case of this year was of Nayan Adak, a 19-year-old student of Calcutta Institute of Pharmaceutical and Allied Health Sciences, who was asked by his seniors to dance, strip and smoke. When he refused, the seniors slashed his wrist with a blade and injected a drug into his body. Nayan was so depressed that he tried to commit suicide, but was rescued.
When his father asked him to rejoin classes, a distraught Nayan preferred death to studies. The incident shows gross societal failure wherein, even after intervention from social security institutions, the victim could not be saved.
Sixty-eight ragging cases or 42 per cent of the total incidents were reported from engineering and medical colleges.
Hostels and paying guest accommodation for students remained the breeding ground for ragging, with 91 cases or 56 per cent of the cases.
On the positive side, 2009-10 year witnessed an increase in the registration of FIR in ragging cases.
Police intervention was noted in 66 per cent of the incidents as against 59 per cent in 2008-09.
DH News Service