Ragging In Odisha: Human Rights Panel Seeks Report By Oct 11

Bhubaneswar: Taking strong congnizance of allegations of ragging in different educational institutions, the Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) has written to secretaries of School & Mass Education, Higher Education, Health & Family Welfare, Skill Development & Technical Education departments to furnish responses on steps taken to curb torture being meted out to the freshers in an institution.

The Commission has asked them to submit a report in this regard by October 11, 2019, further directing for a response on why such activities shall not be treated as criminal and why the students involved in ragging should not be penalized under the criminal law.

The OHRC directive is based on a petition filed by the convener and members of the Ragging Free Campus Abhiyan in Bhubaneswar, that mentioned a few news items disclosing rigorous ragging in some educational institutions culminating in physical and psychological injuries to the freshers.

The complainants also alleged that though the State Government has framed rules and guidelines to curb ragging-related activities, implementation of the same is far from over.

The petitioners further urged, “The Home Department is requested to enlighten us regarding the guidelines framed and whether periodical monitoring is done to ensure that the same is implemented and whether the State government has created a State Anti-Ragging Helpline as done by the Government of India following the Supreme Court order to help the victims and take action in case of ragging by informing the Head of the institutions and local police authorities.”