Odisha University of Agriculture rusticates 5 students on ragging charges

The Odisha University of Agriculture (OUAT) on Friday rusticated five students for one year on charges of ragging first year students in Department of Forestry. The action was taken as per the recommendation of the disciplinary committee of the varsity. “As per the guidelines laid out by the University Grants Commission, the five students have been rusticated from the fisheries college for one year,” OUAT Vice-Chancellor Manoranjan Kar told reporters.

This apart, the committee also recommended disciplinary action against 10 other students of the university’s Forestry department where the ragging was reported. Stating that action was being taken against the five erring students for now, the VC said charges against 10 others were being examined.

“We are examining the evidence against the others as once the orders are issued it would have ramifications if there are certain discrepancies. We will give the accused students a chance to defend themselves and have called them tomorrow to present their case,” the VC said. The expelled students include undergraduates of second, third and fourth year and few post-graduates. The move followed the complaint of 10-12 junior students of Forestry department of ragging by senior students on Tuesday. They even gheraoed the Office of Dean demanding action and lodged an FIR at Khandagiri police station.

In their FIR to the police, some of the boarders of Pathani Samanta Hostel of the university alleged that they were brutally beaten up by the seniors on the night of November 19 and two of them were seriously injured in the incident. However, the university authorities and anti-ragging committee had taken no action despite repeated complaints, they alleged before the police.