Following an anonymous complaint by a student over “ragging” earlier this week, the Indian Institute of Technology-Kharagpur (IIT-KGP) has decided to step up security and conduct night vigils to curb such incidents on the campus.
Authorities said faculty members have started night vigils at hostels and a separate email for students to report ragging complaints has also been created. According to reports, IIT-Kharagpur received a ragging complaint on November 8 from UGC’s anti-ragging helpline. The institute said it immediately forwarded the complaint to Kharagpur (Town) PS for investigation. Based on the complaint, an FIR has been registered under IPC Sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 341 (wrongful restraint), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 34 (abetment). The district police on Thursday visited the campus and held a talk with the officials.
A senior police officer of Purba Medinipur district police said, “We have spoken to the dean of the institute. The complainant has been identified. A database of the students has been sought from the institute. We are looking at all aspects.”
IIT-Kharagpur officials were not available for comment on the issue. However, in a statement on Friday, the institute had said that it had filed a police complaint within 24 hours after it learnt of the ragging complaint on UGC’s portal.
“The complaint was anonymous and did not reveal the identity of the student(s), halls of residence etc. To gather more information, the Dean of Student Affairs communicated to all the students about the complaint by an e-mail on November 8 2023, seeking their help in gathering information about the incident. In the email, the dean requested the concerned student(s) to contact him in confidence by replying to the e-mail or by calling the dean directly,” it said.
Following this incident, IIT-Kharagpur set up a separate email for filing any ragging complaint (email@example.com). Meanwhile, for the autumn 2023 semester, the institute also uploaded a 19-page ‘Guidelines for Complaints and their Redressal Mechanism’ which was sent to all 16,000 students detailing among others, what constitutes ragging and its consequences.
In its advisory to the students, the institute said, “Highest priority will be given to emails which are sent from institute mail ID and have the details of the student who is making the complaint. The identity of a student, who has made allegations about ragging, will be kept strictly confidential at all times.” It also advised students not to make any false complaint on ragging.
The institute had come under severe criticism following the death of a third-year student in October 2022 allegedly due to ragging. Faizan Ahmed, who was found dead on the campus, was “threatened, humiliated and verbally abused” by senior students at a hostel, according to a report by the institute’s fact-finding committee.