The ragging had taken place on 30th August though there was no physical violence involved,
Madurai: As many as twenty-two second-year MBBS students of Madurai Medical College (MMC) are set to face six month suspension for verbally ragging the first year students at the medical college hostel.
The Anti-Ragging Committee of the institution recommended their suspension after a complaint lodged by first-year students to the Medical Council of India (MCI) was referred to them. Additionally, the committee suggested barring of the accused students from the college hostel for nearly one-and-a-half years, till their examinations in February 2020.
Confirming the ragging episode, Dr Maruthupandian, Dean, MMC and Government Rajaji Hospital, told the media that inquiries had revealed the involvement of 22 students in ragging. “The College Council will meet on Monday to formally suspend the students,” he said, adding that the action would be taken based on CCTV evidence and written statement given by the victims.
In their complaint, the juniors stated that ragging was going on for nearly a month in which they were asked to run errands, salute their seniors, wear only formal clothes even while sleeping and not allowed to sport moustaches.
A first-year student informed that they were warned about the ragging a day before by the accused students when they said that ‘those who were not in support of ragging would face the risk of being ostracised till the completion of the course.’
“On 30th August, about 15 students had trespassed into the secluded block meant for first-year students and instructed us not to talk to girls, not to fold up shirt sleeves, to sleep dressed in formals only, to not lock our mobile phones using password, to salute them every time they pass by and not to enter hostel mess before 1 pm, even if our classes get over at 12 pm,” the student further informed TNIE while narrating the ragging incident.
Later, when the juniors took the matter to the third year students, who were friendlier with them, they were allegedly told that ‘ragging’ was a common and casual practice at the college and that they should keep “mum” about it.
Further, around 2.30 am the next day, some of the seniors got into the rooms of the first year students to check if all of them were sleeping dressed in formals. “When they found that some weren’t, they took note of them and left the place saying that those who disobeyed their ‘diktat’ would be taken care of later,” he said.
Trounced by the ragging, the students filed the complaint with the anti-ragging cell of the apex medical regulator. After the complaint reached the concerned college administration, discreet inquiries were conducted with first-year students to confirm the veracity of the allegations.
The identities of some of the senior students were confirmed with the help of CCTV footage from the hostel premises; certain college sources informed The Hindu.
“Seniors are not allowed to enter the hostel block of first-year students. Their very entry, confirmed by CCTV footage, is a violation,” Dr Maruthupandian confirmed.
The Dean confirmed to TOI, “In the college anti-ragging committee it has been decided to suspend the students for six months. The decision has to be approved by the college council meeting scheduled to take place on Monday around 11 am.” The ragging had taken place on 30th August though there was no physical violence involved, he added.
With ragging in educational institutions being viewed very seriously of late, MMC authorities said that the suspension orders were likely to be issued to the students individually on Monday.
The committee, which included a Deputy Commissioner from Madurai city police and other members not connected to the college, decided not to pursue a police complaint as it was felt that the college was capable of handling it and also since no physical abuse was reported by the first-year students.
Meanwhile, State Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan said that medical colleges in the State follow a zero-tolerance policy towards ragging. “Even isolated cases of ragging will be taken very seriously,” he said.