The Director of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur was excoriated for the second time in weeks by the Calcutta High Court on Thursday, as it slammed him for trying to cover up the college’s inaction on a ragging complaint which was followed by the death of a student on campus.
“Have you indicated what action has been taken in the report? Why is the Director giving a lecture here? There was a complaint received and all the wardens did was warn them (students),” the court said, when a report by the college on the action taken based on a ragging complaint was read out.
“We asked for a report on what he has done. He has done nothing… We asked your client to name the students. The court asked you to name students involved,” the judges said.
“We could not identify the students,” the lawyer for IIT Kharagpur replied.
Incensed, the court summoned the Director to the next hearing on December 20. “What is going on? Your client is playing with the court. Let the Director be present at the next hearing… The Director is trying to cover up things here,” it said.
“He is lecturing, but he cannot name or find students. What kind of Director is he?” the court said, adding, “Had IIT taken steps maybe after the February incident, maybe this would not have happened.”
Three weeks ago, the court had pulled up the institute’s administration and the Director over the death of a student on campus, observing that the incident appeared to be a case of ragging.
On October 14, the decomposing body of Faizan Ahmed, a 23-year-old mechanical engineering student from Assam, was found in a hostel room at the IIT Kharagpur. The police claimed he had died by suicide.
His family, however, alleged that he was pushed over the edge by ragging and that his complaints went unheard by IIT-Kharagpur’s management. “It was a clear case of murder,” they said.
The court asked for a report from the Director of IIT Kharagpur on steps taken on complaints of ragging – made in February – and whether the Supreme Court guidelines on ragging were followed.
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