The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued notice to the West Bengal government, the Director General of Police (DGP) of the state and the Registrar of Jadavpur University, Kolkata, on the alleged suicide of a first-year student due to ragging.
Taking suo motu cognisance of a media report published on August 11, the Commission observed that the report indicated negligence, lack of supervision and inherent failure of the college administration due to which a young student, reportedly undergoing the trauma of ragging, lost his life.
Noting that if the contents of the media report were true, they amounted to a violation of the human rights of the student, NHRC directed the Chief Secretary, Government of West Bengal, to submit a report in the matter within four weeks.
It said the report should include the reasons for prima facie failure of the institution to take adequate steps to prevent ragging in accordance with the UGC regulation, along with steps taken or proposed to punish the perpetrators of ragging, including its abettors and sympathisers.
Further, the report must contain the measures being initiated by the state government for spreading awareness about the menace of ragging amongst the Student Community and Teaching Associations throughout the state, it added.
The Commission also took note of the Supreme Court verdict in the case University of Kerala vs Council, Principals’ Colleges, Kerala [(2009) 7 SCC 726].
The Apex Court had held in the matter that heads of institutions/ members of the administration mandatorily be penalised for not taking timely action against ragging for failure to sensitise teaching/non-teaching staff or employees working in the hostels and messes.
Issuing a notice to the Director General of Police, West Bengal, seeking details of the criminal case registered against all the responsible students and teaching/non-teaching staff of the college concerned as reported in the news article.
Further, it issued notice to the Registrar, Jadavpur University, seeking a detailed report regarding the steps taken for effective implementation of the recommendations of the Raghavan Committee report, as affirmed by the Supreme Court, to solve the problem of ragging in the varsity.
The news article published on August 11, 2023 alleged that the student had moved to the hostel barely two days before the incident on August 7 at the start of the academic session.
The student had reportedly called up his mother multiple times two days before he died expressing fear for his life and his desire to return home.
It reportedly said that fellow students of the victim had tried to bring the matter to the notice of the Dean, however, their efforts went in vain.