Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in Uttar Pradesh has the unenviable fortune of finding its way into the news.
After weeks of turmoil on the campus last month, over the alleged sexual assault of a woman student, The Telegraph reported on Friday of yet another incident of attack on a student at the prestigious institution of higher education.
Munish Krisil Samy, a student from Fiji, was allegedly accosted by a group of seniors and asked to address them as 'Sir'. Although cornered, Samy refused to do so and paid a price for his resistance.
"I told them we are all equal as students and cannot call each other 'Sir'," he told the reporter. "They thrashed me at that time."
But his ordeal didn't end there. The seniors took him to a restaurant on campus where they flung scalding hot tea on his face.
An FIR has been lodged since then and investigations are on to nab the criminals. Under anti-ragging laws, the culprits could be expelled from the institution and imposed heavy penalties on, but clearly, these are not deterrent enough for such atrocities to end.
A study carried out by a committee mandated by the Supreme Court (SC), funded by the University Grants Commission (UGC), revealed the persistence of ragging in many higher education institutions across India.
Based on a sample of over 10,000 students from different parts of the country, the report indicates that an overwhelming number of victims, as high as 84%, did not complain about ragging by their seniors or peers. About 36% believe ragging prepares them for the world, so they don't find anything unnatural about this perverse 'rite of passage'.
BHU's reputation of being in the thick of incidents detrimental to its students' well-being is notorious by now. Earlier this year, the authorities allegedly expelled a woman student from its hostels for showing 'homosexual tendencies'.
When students gathered to protests against sexual assault on women on campus, the police thrashed them and lodged FIRs against 1,000 of them. Amidst the outcry, the incident of a man gangraped on campus last year, which the authorities allegedly had tried to hush up, came up again.
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