Mokokchung, 13 October (MTNews): The Angami Students’ Union has expressed deep concern and anguish over a recent incident of ragging that occurred on the 8th of October, 2023, at Arbella Boys Hostel, Chasingre, Tura, within the campus of North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU). The victim of the incident is a student hailing from Nagaland.
The union condemned the horrific act of the perpetrators from the said hostel, who have not only threatened the safety of the Naga students but also violated human rights within an educational institution.
According to multiple media sources, on the morning of October 8, a student from Nagaland, who had just begun his academic journey at NEHU, pursuing a degree in Agri Business Management, was allegedly subjected to egregious abuse by senior peers. These seniors reportedly approached his dorm room at the Arabella Hostel and forcibly escorted him to an empty room, attempting to conceal their identities by shining lights in his face.
The victim was then compelled to introduce himself in Hindi. Dissatisfied with his proficiency, the seniors demanded that he “entertain” them by performing a “naked dance” due to his Naga ethnicity. As he pleaded for mercy, the victim was threatened and coerced into stripping in front of his tormentors. The victim suspects that the perpetrators may have recorded the incident on their phones, the Assam Tribune reported.
In the aftermath of this horrifying experience, the victim promptly left the hostel and returned to his home in Nagaland, where he filed a formal complaint regarding the matter. The Naga Students’ Union Shillong (NSUS) wrote a letter to NEHU’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof Prabha Shankar Shukla, urging immediate action and justice for the victim within 24 hours. The NSUS warned that if the university failed to take swift and decisive action, it would call for strikes and boycotts against NEHU.
However, according to the Angami Students’ Union, despite the incident being reported, no action has been taken by the concerned authorities. In response to this, the union has raised questions about whether NEHU, a renowned university in the Northeast, inadvertently tolerates ragging within its campus.
The Angami Students’ Union therefore implored the NEHU authority to immediately take befitting action against the perpetrators and further appealed to the law enforcing agencies to book the culprits under relevant acts/laws.
The union has called upon the authorities at NEHU to take prompt and appropriate action against those responsible for the incident. Additionally, they have appealed to law enforcement agencies to pursue the culprits under the relevant legal provisions.
While expressing heartfelt sympathy for the victim, the Angami Students’ Union has vowed not to cease its efforts until justice is served, and the safety of Naga students is ensured in the future.
Furthermore, the union has called upon the State Government of Nagaland to intervene in the matter promptly and ensure the swift delivery of justice, as they firmly believe that justice delayed is justice denied.
Meanwhile, the North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU) Tura campus has established a fact-finding committee to investigate the alleged ragging of a Naga student within the Arabella Boys’ Hostel on the university campus in Chasingre. This development was reported by the Highland Post.
In a press statement issued today, the university announced that the committee would be led by Prof. Lucy Zehol, Dean of the School of Human & Environmental Sciences, known for her extensive experience in handling sensitive matters and ensuring impartial and equitable investigations.
NEHU further stated that Zehol would commence the investigation immediately and travel to the NEHU Tura Campus. The university emphasized its unwavering commitment to a zero-tolerance policy against all forms of ragging or harassment.
It asserted that if the incident is verified, the perpetrators would face stringent disciplinary actions in accordance with both the university’s regulations and the pertinent laws of the country.