Last week’s arrest spurs broader investigation

  • college teacher’s unscrupulous act
- Manish Gautam, Kathmandu
Many private colleges have been hiring former bouncers and goons as discipline in-charge Such unscrupulous DIs’ ways of disciplining students have become a major cause for concern

Apr 19, 2016-Arrest of a discipline in-charge (DI) of a college in the Capital last week on the charge of harassing and blackmailing students has prompted the law enforcement agency to broaden investigation to find out how colleges are hiring DIs and whether they are running background checks before hiring. 

The Metropolitan Police Crime Division (MPCD) on Thursday arrested Sudip Gurung who was working as a DI at Malpi International Institute/College, Baluwatar. He was arrested after complaints from parents that he had been forcefully asking money from students “to bet during various sporting activities” and had amassed around Rs7 million.

A Post inquiry and police statements show that many private colleges have been hiring “former bouncers” and “goons” as DIs “to maintain discipline”.

Such unscrupulous DIs’ ways of “disciplining” students have become a major cause for concern, according to police. Some even go as far as blackmailing and extorting money from students in some private colleges where a majority of students come from well-to- do homes, say police. According to Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Sarbendra Khanal, chief of MPCD, around 15 parents have complained against the arrested DI. 

SSP Khanal said one of the parents in their statement said that their child had taken more than Rs 700,000 on various occasions and that they later found out Gurung had taken all the money for betting. The MPCD has filed a public offence case against Gurung. 

Police investigation has found that a majority of DIs in private colleges have criminal background. “They instill fear among students,” said SSP Khanal. “We will soon book these people and warn the concerned colleges.”

In the case of Gurung, according to the MPCD, he would either thrash or threaten students if they did not give him money for betting. He would, at times, even lend money to students at an exorbitant interest rate. 

Purna Adhikari, administrator of Malpi International Institute/College, said Gurung was hired two years ago without any background check. “We came to know about his activities only after he was arrested,” said Adhikari. 

Gurung’s arrest has also brought to the fore the fact that colleges tend to hire such people as DIs to “scare students”. They also come in handy as they can help sort out problems with local goons. 

About a month ago, a DI of Caspian Valley College in Lalitpur was arrested for thrashing a student, who had sustained injury on his ears. 

“Colleges do not do background checks, especially to confirm whether the persons they are hiring were/ are involved in criminal activities,” said SSP Pitamber Adhikari, chief of Metropolitan Police Range, Lalitpur. “Many a time, cases are filed against the DIs only when incidents are of severe nature. Generally, colleges, parents or students keep the matter to themselves.”

Yubraj Sharma, general secretary of the Higher Secondary School Association, Nepal (HISSAN), said that they have been advising colleges to hire sports teacher instead of “bouncers”. “Why run a college when you want to hire bouncers?” Sharma wondered. 

 

 

Published: 19-04-2016 08:55

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