A closed, tiny room. Four-five students pushing another student. Forcing him to take his pants off. The victim is shuffles between them and tries to get away. One of the students pushes him with much force and he falls on the floor. Gets up again to try and escape. The other three students hold him and take his pants off revealing his underpants. The kicking, stripping and touching of private parts continues. This sure makes for prime time big bucks TV vieweing. And so, one of India's mainstream news channels cashed in on this last night.
These videos were aired as ragging videos showing National Institute of Technology (NIT), Warangal, students kicking and pushing their juniors in a room and forcing them to blow condoms and touch their private parts. This created storm in Andhra Pradesh. But it seems like this may not be the whole truth.
Says Kiran Kumar, a student from the institute, "This is complete bullshit. The media hasn't even tried to find out if this is true or not. The video has nothing to do with our institute. Some random four guys have put up this video and then sent it to the news channel calling it NIT Warangal."
Says another student Rishabh Kohli, "This is ridiculous. This is also blasphemy. Media should be punished for airing such things without even confirming it with the students of NIT Warangal. Some moron sends an anonymous video and you just air it?"
Says another student, Mushar, "We are trying to find out who could have sent these videos. Somebody who is out to tarnish NIT Warangal's name has sent this. We are investigating it."
One of the videos, leaked to a TV news channel, shows a student, stripped to his underwear and in tears, being forced to dance while dozens of students watch and click photos of him with their phones. Another showed a boy held up by two students while others rained kicks on his backside.
Speaking to Gyencentral, NIT Warangal director Professor T Srinivasa Rao said "We are probing the matter. We make sure that such incidents do not occur on campus. And we are not sure if this really happened either. But we are probing the incident."
But this is not the first time that NIT Warangal has been embroiled in a ragging controversy. This time, last year, some students on campus from Nepal had complained that ragging was getting unbearable and that it had taken a sadistic turn. They were being asked to blow condoms and made to do very embarrassing tasks in front of seniors.
"Even in April this year there was an incident where some students who clashed with the seniors were asked to dance naked and were kept locked inside one room. A few students who resisted this were beaten up black and blue. There were students who would keep kicking the buttocks until it turned red. But this certainly was a real incident," informs a third year student.
There have been several such incidents of ragging in NIT Warangal campus. Which is why perhaps the news sources never confirmed it and believed it.
But we did find a few students who had different opinions.
"The thing is minor incidents of ragging keep happening every now and then on campus. Last week one of my friends was asked to rip off his shirt and pant and walk on the corridors of the boy's hostel serving tea and coffee to seniors. Now, this wasn't covered by the media. Because there was no video," informs a student.
Says a second year student, "Stray incidents of ragging keep on happening. We hear of them from somewhere, someone. We do not know which ones are true, which ones aren't. Unless, you see such videos on TV. And one of the students seen in the video is actually an NIT Warangal student. But then this room doesn't look like our hostel room. And the other students don't belong here either. Which is why the doubt whether this happened at out hostel."
One of the members from the Student's Council said, "We are trying to investigate who sent the video. It must have been sent from hostel LAN only. Even the Indian Express carried an article on this when it never ever happened. It had nothing to do with our campus at all. This really gives a bad reputation to a premier institute like ours. We do hope media behaves more responsibly."