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‘Racism’ at Ukrainian border alleged by Indian, African students

Many first-year MBBS students, all tonsured, reportedly walked in circles around Haldwani Medical College with bags on their backs with the assistance of their seniors. The videos of the ragging went viral on social media, triggering shock and anger. After viewing the images, netizens demanded action from the administration of the medical college, calling for the punishment of the students responsible for the humiliation of their juniors.

As 27 boys walk in silence with their hands behind their backs, looking down at the ground in the video, they can be seen with their hands tied behind their backs. Wearing lab coats and masks as well as shaving their heads, they avoid eye contact with passing motorists.

Arun Joshi, the principal of the medical college, downplayed the incident. ‘No complaint has been received in the case. Often, students shave their heads themselves. It is not always linked to ragging,’ he told TOI. Military haircuts are also common in colleges. The incident was not unusual. While TOI attempted to reach out to college students, none were willing to comment on the incident. This is not the first time that ragging has been reported by the college. In 2019, seven senior MBBS students were suspended for harassing junior students. In addition, each accused was fined Rs 10,000 by the administration. Despite taking action, the college’s principal maintained that it was a ‘disagreement between students’.

Another case of ragging was reported in 2016 after a first-year MBBS student complained to the University Grants Commission that seniors ‘beat him and tore his clothes’. Despite the presence of an anti-ragging cell there, the complainant failed to report the incident to the college that year. UGC issued guidelines in 2009 to help colleges curb ragging. Furthermore, it had set up a toll-free anti-ragging helpline.


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