CMC Vellore ragging horror: Students assaulted on private parts, stripped, hung upside down

College suspends seven as victim students take to social media with video proof of the brutal ragging happening for months.

ByChetana Belagere

Published Nov 09, 2022 | 12:15 PM Updated Nov 09, 2022 | 9:58 PM

Students being punched

Just a few months after the National Medical College sought data on ragging cases from every medical college in the state, a horrific incident of ragging has been reported from the prestigious Christian Medical College in Tamil Nadu’s Vellore.

Members of the freshman batch claimed they were hit on testicles, paraded in their underwear, suspended upside down, and some were even stripped naked.

The college suspended seven students after the allegations and purportedly supporting evidence came to light and let to a public outcry.

Taking to social media, students of CMC Vellore tweeted a video of one such incident as proof of severe ragging in the college.

The tweet along with the video said, “Kindly share and expose the acts occurring here for society to know the problems in not only this institution but widespread among other medical colleges in various degrees. [sic]”

Victim speaks out

Excerpt from a Reddit post by a victim student of CMC Vellore explaining in detail the horrific acts of ragging. (Supplied)

Excerpt from a Reddit post by a victim student of CMC Vellore explaining in detail the horrific acts of ragging. (Supplied)

One of the victims posted specific details of the horrific act on the social media platform Reddit, which led to an internal investigation.

The student said that their entire batch of junior students was physically abused in multiple ways over the course of a month after their joining.

He said he was a first-year MBBS student of the college, and that there had been multiple incidents of ragging ever since his batch joined in March this year.

The student detailed being assaulted in ways like “hitting the testicles of students with any object, including one’s hands, hockey sticks, glass bottles, any stick [sic]” and “squeezing and pinching the nipples of the students to inflict severe pain, often until the point of severe injury such as bleeding”.

Several doctors took to social media and condemned this act.

One such post from Dr Kartik Chadaar of AIIMS said, “Horrific acts of ragging in CMC Vellore among medical students. Needs complete investigation.”

Physical abuse, code words explained

Stating clearly that there were too many and too widespread incidents to document, the student said on Reddit that he had included in the post the ones that were relatively severe.

“The problem of physical and sexual abuse is a widespread one in Men’s hostel CMC Vellore. Ever since my batch joined till date, one or the other of us have been physically abused multiple times over the course of a few months. Physical abuse takes place in multiple forms, the most common of which include two acts: which are fondly called by code names as to hide it’s true nature: Buzzing and Tuning. [sic]”

“Buzzing”, he said, was the act of hitting the testicles of students with any object, and “tuning” was the squeezing and pinching of the nipples to inflict severe pain.

Students stripped, and paraded naked

The student further stated, with video proof, that they were taken to the hostel’s top floor and suspended upside down. This, he said, was called “Jupiter watch”.

They were slapped and beaten up, alleged the victim. He added that the juniors were told to strip naked or walk only in their underwear.

“Some of them were going fully naked with only a cardboard piece covering our genitals, we were paraded around [sic],” wrote the victim in the post.

The student also said that the juniors would be kept in the mess for several hours even if they had an exam or academic activities to attend the next day.

Freshers reportedly had to even take permission from the seniors before they had food and be seated at the table.

The seniors apparently passed comments such as: “You are such a mentally retarded person, you can’t even learn our names properly. You think medicine is an easy thing? If you can’t even learn names, how will you survive college? [sic]”

The freshman batch was also forced to write the practical records of the seniors and run errands for them.

Also read: PG doctors made to wash cars and serve dinner

No action despite repeated complaints

The student said the college authorities failed to take any action despite several complaints. (Creative Commons)

The student said the college authorities failed to take any action despite several complaints. (Creative Commons)

The student said in the post that the college authorities failed to take any action despite several complaints, and the matter was treated lightly.

Recounting a specific incident that took place on 9 October, the student wrote: “In itself not a bad thing, as a bodybuilding competition, the bad aspects of this involves the fact that all juniors are made to participate and that consent is not freely obtained. [sic]”

He added: “My batchmates and I were forced to strip into our underwear and exhibit our bodies on a stage. I must stress on the fact that both the wardens were present during this program as were some other doctors as judges. [sic]”

The victim said he and his batchmates were also forced to lie in the mud and pretend as if they were having sex with the ground.

On another occasion, they were apparently forced to hold a bottle and pretend as if they were masturbating.

The student said they had dirty water thrown at them, eggs broken on their bodies, and made to mimic performing sexual acts with other batchmates.

Related: NMC should find out why medical students are stressed, depressed

Action comes after public outcry

When South First contacted the officials of CMC Vellore, the director’s office asked this reporter to speak to the principal, Dr Solomon Sathishkumar. An email response from the principal is awaited.

According to sources in the college, seven senior medical students were suspended immediately after the video went viral.

Several anonymous letters tagging the Prime Minister’s Office, Chief Minister’s Office, Union Ministry of Health and other agencies have been posted on social media.

The principal, meanwhile, told reporters on Tuesday: “The institution has a zero-tolerance policy towards ragging, and will involve police and district administration only after completing an internal inquiry.”

FAIMA condemns act

Condemning this horrific act of ragging, Federation of All India Medical Association (FAIMA) president Dr Rohan Krishnan told South First: “This is an absolutely unpardonable act. There is a clear zero-tolerance policy towards ragging, and the colleges have to be very strict in implementing this.”

Ragging can cause severe depression in students, and in some cases even lead to suicide, he explained.

Suspending the guilty may not be enough, considering the amount and nature of the ragging that has taken place here, added Krishnan.

Asking to sing is ragging as is stripping someone naked, but the two are of different nature and the punishment for them should reflect that, he added.