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West Bengal: CM Mamata Banerjee launches anti-ragging helpline

August 23, 2023
Mita Mukherjee

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday launched an anti-ragging helpline where people from anywhere can complain or report about any form of ragging in the state.

The 24X7 Helpline – 1800 345 5678 – to be managed by the Kolkata Police from its headquarters became operational on Tuesday itself.

Addressing a programme to discuss the arrangements for observing the ensuing Durga Puja festival with the representatives of the Puja organizers, Mamata spoke about the incidents of ragging at various educational institutions and announced the decision to open the helpline.

She said the incident at Jadavpur University has “opened our eyes” and it has prompted the government to launch the anti-ragging helpline.

She said people from anywhere in the state will be able to call on the helpline number and report in case they are subjected to ragging.

The details of the complainant will not be disclosed to anyone and kept confidential, she said.

“ The incident at Jadavpur has opened our eyes. There was no ragging for a long time. It could be that students did not divulge their plight out of fear. Please remember, if anyone, from a college, university or even from any workplace gets ragged anywhere in the state, can call and report to the helpline. Your identity will not be disclosed. I have asked the police to maintain confidentiality,’ the chief minister said.  

She regretted the way the number of ragging was increasing by the day and urged students to protest against the menace.

 “In our times the situation was not like this. The number of ragging is increasing. Parents have to work so hard to bring up their children. A student can study in a good institute if they do well in studies. It is very unfortunate if students get tortured in this way. This (ragging) happens not just in one place. It happens in many institutes. I have not heard of any institute where ragging does not take place,” the chief minister said.

The chief minister reminded students that more than scoring high marks, it is more important to be a good human being.

 “I would like to remind you that scoring 100 per cent is not enough. It does not show that you are truly qualified.  My true qualification is to be a good human being,” Mamata said.

The state government took the decision to run the helpline nearly 13 days after the death of a 17-year old student who jumped to death from the second floor balcony of the main hostel of Jadavpur University less than a week after he joined the institution, after being subjected to extensive ragging.

The chief minister had assured the parents of the deceased student that those involved in the incident will be punished.

As many as 12 students have been arrested in connection with the incident till Tuesday, according to police sources.

Also read: Jadavpur University is hub of anti-national elements: BJP MLA

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