KOCHI: Maharaja’s College in the city is once again in news after dozens of students came out in protest against alleged ragging and physical assault perpetrated by a gang comprising of some senior students and outsiders. A section of students and teachers alleged that some anti-social elements are trying to make the campus a hub of their activities which include drug peddling and liquor abuse.
The college authorities have sought the help of the police to keep a strict check on the intrusion of ‘outsiders’ into the campus and to keep a vigil against anti-social activities. The recent developments in the college has once again raised serious concerns about the alleged links of drug peddlers.
In the last week of October, a group of first year students alleged ragging by seniors and some outsiders in the campus and submitted a complaint to the college principal. They also complained that they were subjected to ragging which was forwarded to the police by the college principal on October 30.
Things worsened on Wednesday when a group allegedly attacked the first year students who filed the ragging complaint. Two students sustained injuries in the clash. On Thursday, first year students protested outside the college demanding safety and security.
“We have been ragged and threatened by a group for the past one month in the college hostel and at the campus. Many students have gone back home out of fear,” said Rishi Karthik, a first year student. After we filed the complaint, their threats took an ugly turn, the students alleged. Even though we approached the leaders of the SFI, they were not ready to help.
The SFI leadership, while denying allegations, said that the problems in the college were overhyped and the real issue lies in the rivalry among two groups in the college. “There is an attempt to tarnish SFI by dragging the organisation into the muddle. As far as we know, the allegations of drugs use and sales in the campus are fabricated so as to add strength to the manipulated news that are being sent out from here by a group,” said Balu Pradeep, the Maharaja’s College unit secretary of the SFI.
The college authorities and the higher education department have taken the allegations of drug peddling in the campus seriously and have requested the police to take necessary action. The police had arrested three in connection with the ragging complaint. The college authorities have requested the police to keep vigil in the night as well.
“The college has three gates and there are practical difficulties in closing the gates and check the outsiders entering the college,” said prinicipal Beena.
Similar complaints had surfaced in January last year and the police had raided the college. But the police could not find any suspicious substances during the raid.