State orders probe into Eng College ragging

Bhubaneswar: The Orissa government today ordered a departmental inquiry into an alleged ragging incident in a private engineering college located on the outskirts of the state capital.

"A committee headed by Industries secretary will probe the alleged incidents of ragging at Gandhi Institute of Technological Advancement (GITA) where students of first year and fourth year clashed," Industries Minister Raghunath Mohanaty told reporters here.

He has asked authorities to take stringent action against the students involved in the alleged incident and said that the college would be held responsible if the offence was proved.

Senior and junior engineering students of the college allegedly clashed yesterday over a dispute that arose during the celebrations of Viswakarma Puja on Saturday. A few students of the fourth year have been accused of passing comments on girls belonging to the first year which led to the clash, after which the college was closed sine die.

At least 10 students including some girls, were injured in the incident, Jatani police station inspector-in-charge, K K Panigrahi, said.

"The students were taken to hospital," he said, adding that a formal complaint from the college authorities was awaited.

The junior students have given a written complaint to the college principal alleging ragging by their seniors, police said.

Meanwhile, the state`s higher education department has reconstituted the state-level anti-ragging committee headed by Governor M C Bhandare.

"Governor being head of the anti-ragging committee can exercise his powers to direct the secretaries/government officers/head of institutions to take necessary action, if he feels the steps taken are not appropriate," the notification issued by the higher education department said.

Members included ministers of higher education, industries, health and family welfare, agriculture. Chief secretary, secretaries of different departments and vice-chancellors of all state and central universities are also part of the committee.

Among its responsibilities, the state level anti- ragging committee will issue suitable instructions to all universities for being alert in case of ragging, the notification said.

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