Be strict against ragging, bullying

Prothom Alo illustration

The first and second-year students of Khulna University are not allowed in the cafeteria. They are not allowed to fold up the sleeves of their shirts or speak and laugh loudly. If someone breaks any of these “rules”, he or she will be subjected to verbal and mental abuse or they will have to stay in the classroom for hours even after the end of class. The senior students of KU sometimes even harass their juniors at different places on campus.

Prothom Alo’s KU correspondent said a second-year student was harassed by three seniors in front of him. Besides, at least 15 students disclosed their ordeal to him.

Amanullah, a student of the mass communication and journalism discipline, is one of the victims. He was kept confined for five hours and was abused physically and mentally by senior students of his discipline. His fault was that he entered the campus with his sleeves rolled up. Another student of the architecture discipline has lodged a complaint to the director of student affairs (DSA) after being mentally abused.

The first year classes in the universities have started from 16 August. Students from different parts of the country have just entered the campus. It’s very unfortunate that they are being subjected to an adverse environment during the very first days of their university life.

Earlier in 2020, Supreme Court lawyer Ishrat Hasan filed a writ petition to stop ragging and bullying in educational institutions. Following that, the court ordered formation of anti-ragging committees in all educational institutions, especially in public and private universities and affiliated colleges to provide emergency services to victims of ragging and to take immediate actions against those involved.

Had KU abided by these directives from the court, no student would have suffered. Khulna University’s director of student affairs professor Sharif Hasan has somewhat surrendered to this offence. He said the university organises orientation programmes for first year students to prevent such incidents. They also help the students by providing advice. Despite all these efforts, they are not being able to curb ragging and bullying on campus.

Many of the victims of ragging lose interest in studies. Many suffer from mental complications and bear that mental trauma throughout life. We all know about Islamic University student Fulpari Khatun. She returned to here studies only after the intervention of the High Court. Although the accused were affiliated with the student wing of the ruling party, they couldn’t evade punishment.

We have seen that something good happens only when the authorities obey the court. We will expect the same in the case of Khulna University.