A student from Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), Ranchi, writes:
On the night of Saraswati Puja visarjan, in the absence of a majority of students, some unsocial elements belonging to the general category pasted a few posters containing abusive language against the ST phylum (a medical term, derogatorily used for people) directed against their mothers and sisters. Here in the colleges of Bihar and Jharkhand, the different castes are referred to as Phylum.
Protest march taken out by Adivasi students
At that time the College fest “Synergy” was going on and in order to not disturb the atmosphere, nothing was done. Then on the 3rd of Feb, after Synergy had ended, The general category students, upon being asked who had done it, started using abusive language again and resorted to physical means. The ST students retaliated and in the process a few people were injured from both the sides.
But the general category students straightaway went to the Police Station and filed an FIR against all the otherwise peace loving ST students who were present there. Then in the morning, they went to a few ministers and sought political intervention. The minister(s) then pressurized the local police who in turn asked (verbally) the RIMS administration to suspend the 25 ST students. The administration complied (despite the Police Station having no power to direct the Institution to do so) without even listening to what the ST students had to say in their defence.
This incidence was projected as a form of ragging despite the fact that some of the accused were even 3 years junior to the complainants. Even a student who broke his arm in a fight during a Kabaddi match in the College fest complained on live TV that this was brought about by the ST students whereas the people who did that belonged to his own caste (this incident can be verified by the teachers who were present at that time).
A counter FIR has been filed against the complainants in the SC/ST police station, because the local Police Station refused to register the same (probably due to political pressure).
RIMS has been home to this kind of discrimination for a long time but these things are never reported for fear of consequences. The general category students refer to the STs with such terms as “Junglee”, ” Naxali” and pass comments like “what would you do after becoming a doctor? You’ll only treat the Naxalis”.