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Services of State Intelligence Services to be Used to End Ragging in Universities

Vice Chancellors agree on tough new measures after report by expert committee; more than 3,000 victims so far

The State Intelligence Services (SIS) has been called in to help end ragging in universities.

Defence Secretary Kamal Gunaratne told the Sunday Times that the MoD (Ministry of Defence) had assured the University Grants Commission (UCG) that the SIS and “other state Intelligence agencies” would be provided to help end ragging in the universities. “We need to keep away groups involved in ragging as it is disrupting educational activities,” he said.

The move came after an eight-member committee handed over its report last week on the issue of controlling ragging in universities. Usually, Police do not enter university premises unless invited by the authorities or a crime has taken place.

UGC Chairman Sampath Amaratunga told the Sunday Times that state university vice chancellors were also consulted on measures to be taken on eliminating ragging and they agreed on seeking the help of the SIS.

“We do not have a network to find those responsible or involved in ragging in universities despite introducing various measures for the victims to inform the authorities about persons involved in ragging,”  he said.

Prof. Amaratunga said that under the arrangement security marshals would coordinate with the intelligence services by sharing information and arrest offenders with the help of the police. “The Anti-Ragging Act is strong and action can be initiated under it,” he added.

The UGC chairman said these steps were being implemented at a time when the universities were trying to expand their services by increasing the student intake.

He said the Attorney General’s Department too had been consulted on the matter.

The committee headed by the retired Supreme Court Justice, Saleem Marsoof, compiled its report on ragging and ragging-related violence after interviewing affected students.

The committee made a series of recommendations on how to stop ragging.

More than 3,000 students are reported to have abandoned university education or not enrolled due to ragging. Some of the victims have also suffered disabilities.

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