HRD Ministry calls for probe into Ranchi boy’s ragging in SPA hostel

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Naveen has a damaged knee cap and torn ligaments. Naveen has a damaged knee cap and torn ligaments.
SummaryHigher Education Secretary Ashok Thakur on Monday said the Ministry had ordered a probe into the ragging, which took place in September 2012.

A day after the Human Resource Development Ministry ordered a fresh inquiry into the ragging incident that left a student with a damaged knee, Director of School of Planning and Architecture (SPA), Professor Chetan Vaidya, said the institute has written to Naveen Kujur’s father to confirm the names of the five accused.

Higher Education Secretary Ashok Thakur on Monday said the Ministry had ordered a probe into the ragging, which took place in September 2012. The Ministry also sought an explanation from SPA .

Vaidya said he had not received any official communication from the HRD Ministry, but had got a call regarding the “status” of the ragging incident. “We responded to Ministry officials and they are free to conduct the inquiry. We have also written to Naveen Kujur’s father to confirm the names of the five students who ragged him.”

SPA officials said they are talking to first-year students to gather details about the night when Naveen and other freshers were ragged inside their hostel in New Friends Colony, Southeast Delhi.

Additional Commissioner of Police (Southeast) said police are in touch with college students and authorities to collect information regarding the sequence of events. “We need to identify the accused before taking any action,” he said.

Vaidya said he will take up the issue of Naveen taking the exams with the institute authorities.

Rajendra Kachroo, who monitors the anti-ragging call centre for UGC and HRD Ministry, said they had taken note of the incident on the basis of media reports and sought a response from SPA registrar. “The registrar said the victim must give names of the accused. This shows the carelessness of SPA staff and disconnect with students’ welfare. First-year students usually do not know their seniors by names and the boy has already said he can identify them by face.”

The fact that Naveen is from tribal category could be the reason behind the ragging, Kachroo said. “Anybody with a ‘different’ background — someone from a village or a modest family — is an easy target for seniors,” he said.

This point was also raised by Naveen. “I never partied or attended DJ nights organised by seniors because I hated the drinking and smoking culture. I used to keep to my studies,” Naveen told Newsline over phone.

Hailing the HRD Ministry’s inquiry even though it came “late”, Naveen said he was still sceptical about the future. “I lost everything — my knee and my education. I wanted to make it big in Delhi, but now I cannot even walk without support,” he said.

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