An 18-year-old undergraduate student in the Jadavpur University campus in Kolkata last week.
The family of the first-year Bengali Honours studen t allege that incessant ragging by seniors could be behind his death, bringing to light the rules and regulations in Indian law, when it comes to offences of such a nature.
While ragging is not a specific offence under the Indian Penal Code, it could be penalised under several of its provisions. Both the Supreme Court and the University Grants Commission have specific guidelines regarding punitive action.
‘He spoke to his mother on Wednesday evening and told her that he wasn’t feeling well. He also told her that he was very scared. When his mother asked him what had happened, he asked her to come soon. He said that he had a lot to tell her,’ the deceased student’s uncle told the media.
‘ He wasn’t allotted his own room at the hostel and was staying at a friend’s room,’ he added.
Both the University and the police are currently conducting their respective investigations and have arrested 12 people, including current and former students of the University.
According to those rules, if a comment is made on the appearance or dress of the student or if his/her self-respect is hurt, then it will be considered ragging. It will also be an offence if a student is insulted based on his region, language, race, caste, etc.. If any student is forced to do any work, then that will also come under the category of ragging.
Under the anti-ragging law, if a student is found guilty, he/she can be imprisoned for three years, along with a fine.
Under the law, if a college does not follow the rules or ignores the matter, legal action can be taken against it.