Bhubaneswar: Odisha Assembly was adjourned for about 50 minutes Monday due to a din over the death by suicide of a college fresher following ragging by seniors.
The opposition members demanded a probe by CBI into the matter and accused the state government of failing to stop ragging in educational institutions for which there has been a rise in cases leading to a series of suicides.
The woman, a first year student of BJB Autonomous College, had committed suicide and died on on July 2. A first-year MBBS student of Bhima Bhoi Medical College and Hospital at Bolangir had allegedly committed suicide by jumping off the college hostel building April 22.
As soon as the House assembled for the day, opposition BJP and Congress lawmakers rushed to the well of the House demanding suspension of the question hour for a discussion on the issue. However, Speaker B K Arukha asked the agitating members to raise the issue during zero hour instead.
The opposition members then raised slogans accusing the BJD government in the state of failing to provide security to students. As pandemonium continued Arukha adjourned the House from 10.30 am to 11.30 am.
When the House reassembled during zero hour, the opposition members came down heavily on the state government. They expressed concern after Arukha rejected a notice for a discussion on the issue in the House.
“As it was a very very sensitive matter we had demanded a discussion on the girl’s suicide due to ragging after suspending the question hour. However, the speaker did not allow a discussion,” said Congress lawmaker Adhiraj Panigrahi
BJD member Uma Samantray, however, said the opposition created disturbance in the house during question hour without any reason. There was no objection to their raising the issue during zero hour.
Opposition chief whip Mohan Majhi of BJP pointed fingers at the administrative capabilities of the state government and the higher education department for which cases of ragging are on the rise in Odisha, he alleged and demanded framing more strict legislation to completely eradicate the ragging menace.
The law and order situation in Odisha has collapsed and though the University Grant Commission had given information on the rise in cases of ragging, the state government remained silent which led to death of a girl student of BJB Autonomous College, he said.
Congress member Suresh Routray alleged that the state government do not hold meetings of the anti-ragging committees and demanded exemplary action against culprits in the college student’s suicide.
Keeping in view the concerns expressed by opposition members, Arukha in a ruling asked the minister of state for home to give a statement on the incident before the end of the proceedings of the House on Monday.
Meanwhile, the parents of the dead woman student are holding a protest in front of the college since Sunday night demanding justice.
The body of the woman student, a first year history honours student who hailed from Athagarh in Cuttack district, was found hanging in her room at Karubaki Hostel of BJB Autonomous College on Saturday. In a suicide note, she mentioned that three senior students were harassing her but did not mention their names.
The police has formed a three-member special team led by an officer in the rank of an additional deputy commissioner of police to probe the matter.
The college principal Niranjan Mishra said that an internal enquiry will be conducted to identify the seniors who allegedly harassed her.
The police, which had initially registered a case of unnatural death, modified it under Sections 306 (abetment of suicide) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).