Jammu: A shocking incident of ragging coupled with physical assault has been reported from Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University (SMVDU). More than a dozen students of B.Arch 1st semester, in a written complaint (a copy of which is with Kashmir Reader), have said that their seniors ragged them in an extremely degrading and violent manner.
“The beat us, some of us had our heads shaved, they forced us to do a pole dance and harassed us, besides threatened us of dire consequences if we reported all this,” said the students, adding that seniors from the 2nd semester also forced them into obscene postures.
They said that on September 16, seniors from the 2nd semester called them out for a “formal introduction” late at night. “We were abused and forced to pole dance at 3 am at Trikuta Boys hostel.
A day later, they again called us at midnight and took us to gate no 2, and again subjected us to mental harassment and torture,” the students said, adding that two seniors, Rahul Sharma and Kumar Gaurav, assaulted them at Kailash Hostel for not carrying out their ‘orders’, which included obscene postures, pole dancing and physical abuse.
“From the beginning, they used to abuse and beat us for no reason. When we tried to bring this matter to the notice of the University administration, they threatened us of dire consequences,” the students said.
Acknowledging that the incident happened in the University hostel, Registrar SMVDU Ajay Khajuria said they have taken proper action against the culprits, but could not share any details. “We have taken cognisance of the matter as it was brought to our notice. The accused seniors have been taken to task,” Khajuria said.
But when asked about the students involved and action taken against them, Prof Khajuria, Registrar of the University, refused to disclose their names. “I will not share details. Why should I do that? If you seek any information in this regard, file an RTI,” he said, adding the matter had “been solved” and the students “have no more complaints”.
Experts say such inhuman treatment attracts provisions of the Prohibition of Ragging in Educational Institution Act 26 of 1997. Pertinently, the victim students also sought involvement of human rights organisations as they are scared the seniors would continue to harass them, as the University has not taken appropriate action, according to them.