The High Court has ordered formation of an anti-ragging committee as the state has shown remarkable silence in this regard. Ragging and bullying are sorry trends worldwide, which is a sheer violation of basic human rights.
After BUET student Abrar Fahad was killed, people expected that the educational institutes will form ant-ragging committees, but they did not do that. Rather they looked more interested in student politics. The writ petitioner on 9 October gave the defendants a week, but they were indifferent. It has become a regular practice to turn a blind eye to court directives.
We expect the High Court order to form committees in three months will be duly carried out. The authorities should go hard on the defaulters. Similar directives to form anti-sexual harassment committees have not been implemented either.
We expect the attorney general to play a pro-active role to make sure the hearing of this case of public interest be done quickly. Because, this issue will remain unsolved if his office doesn't act. We will then see the state always trying to extend the date. The home secretary, the education secretary and the chairman of the UGC are among the defendants who have been asked to reply in four weeks. They may use the experience of neighboring country India to this end.
The Indian Supreme Court passed an anti-ragging law in 2001. But we think the example from India’s state of Himachal in 2009 is most relevant to the BUET incident. A freshman medical student was killed. Following this, four of his seniors were handed death penalty while the principal of the college had to go into retirement for failing to help the deceased student who had sought help.
The educational institute has to file the FIR itself if they get a complaint of ragging. To this end, the recommendations made by India's Raghavan committee are significant. They said lack of extracurricular activities is to be blamed for such ragging practice. To address this issue, it is important to hold dialogues, solve accommodation problem and increase monitoring. India opened a 24-hour complaining cell like 999. Such cells can prevent ragging and sexual harassment.
However, in our country nothing really happens when someone files a case in public interest. It is like forcing the horse to drink the water. We believe the lawmakers should consider the issue seriously and discuss a law to contain the menace in the ongoing parliament session. If they take it seriously, this will send a strong message to the culprits.