Gradual decline in cases of ragging: Govt



New Delhi: Noting that there has been a gradual decline in cases of ragging in the country, the government on Thursday said the scourge can be eliminated through the process of sensitisation rather than making it a congisable offence.

"We need to tackle the menace through a social platform and go beyond legislations by sensitising students about this ghastly act," Minister of State for HRD D Purandeswari said in Rajya Sabha.

States like Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, which have enacted legislations, achieved little success in preventing it, she said replying to a debate on a private members' bill on prohibition and eradication of ragging introduced by Janardhan Waghmare (NCP).

Purandeswari said figures between January and April this year as compared to the same period last year show a "gradual decline" in such cases.

She said making ragging a cognisable offence would go against the interest of the institute. "If ragging is made a cognisable offence, it will undermine the institute's autonomy and the presence of police inside the campus will vitiate the atmosphere," she said. After the minister's reply, Waghmare withdrew his bill.

A bill to amend the Indian Penal Code by deleting section 124A from IPC relating to sedition was also introduced.

Seeking the amendment, D Raja (CPI) said the clause has been misused against those who fight for welfare of people. He said the section has been misused several times including in the states of Chhattisgarh and Tamil Nadu.

He said the clause "is used as a weapon" against people who fight against government policies.

Replying to the debate on the bill, Minister of State for Home M Ramachandran said governments since Independence did not find any reason to delete the section as 124A is compatible with democracy. Raja later withdrew the bill.

PTI