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150 Indian medical students forced to shave their heads in mass hazing ritual (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

150 Indian medical students forced to shave their heads in mass hazing ritual (PHOTOS, VIDEO)
Authorities in Uttar Pradesh are investigating a mass hazing incident at a local university after a group of 150 medical students were allegedly forced to shave their heads and salute senior students.

In images shared online, the students can be seen parading through the university campus in single file with their new buzzcuts, past security personnel and other staff at the Uttar Pradesh University of Medical Sciences in Safai village on Tuesday.

The vice chancellor of the university, Dr Raj Kumar, claims that, despite appointing special squads to keep “check over ragging [hazing],” the practice is still widespread. He has promised “strong action against those involved,” adding that the university has suspended students for such behavior before and may well do so again. 

“We keep a strict vigil on such activities and we have a separate dean social welfare for students. Further, we have an anti-ragging committee to deal with complaints,” Kumar said. 

Hazing or ‘ragging’ has become a major issue in the Indian state in recent years, with a reported increase of 41 percent in incidents between 2013 and 2015. Uttar Pradesh was classed as the worst state for the banned practice, which was addressed by India’s Supreme Court in 1999 and 2006. 

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Last month, a 14-year-old Hyderabad boy reportedly attempted suicide as a result of intense ragging. In March, two Tamil Nadu students took their own lives after a period of bullying at school.

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