Family shocked over death of student in ragging (Second Lead)

March 10th, 2009 - 9:58 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi/Gurgaon/Shimla, March 10 (IANS) A 19-year-old medical student in Himachal Pradesh died after he was allegedly ragged by four of his seniors shocking the entire nation with distraught family members in Gurgaon saying they had done a wrong by not taking action when he complained of harassment in his college.
The Himachal Pradesh government Tuesday ordered a magisterial probe into the incident as the four accused were arrested.

Aman Kachru died Sunday after being ragged by four final year students of the Rajendra Prasad Medical College at Tanda, a small town 20 km from Kangra. Police said he died of head and other wounds.

The young student’s body was brought to the Gurgaon Sector 23 residence at around 2 a.m. Tuesday and taken to New Delhi’s Lodhi Road crematorium.

Kachru’s grieving father, Ravindra Kachru, who flew into India Tuesday from Tanzania where he is a professor, said: “My biggest mistake is that I could not foresee the incident happening.”

“He had complained to us but we never imagined it would be so serious. If I had known, I would have dealt with that gang myself,” Kachru told reporters at the family home in Gurgaon, bordering the national capital.

Aman’s mother is a teacher in Gurgaon and his elder sister studies in Texas, who was to return Tuesday night.

The attackers, identified by deputy superintendent of police O.P. Jamwal as Ajay Verma, Naveen Verma, Abhinav Verma and Mukul Sharma, have been arrested.

Himachal Pradesh Health Minister Rajiv Bindal said a magisterial probe had been ordered.

“We will take strict action against the senior students who indulged in ragging and anyone else who showed laxity in curbing ragging. If a murder case has to registered against the seniors, it will be done on the basis of the post-mortem report,” Bindal told IANS.

Upset with the incident, Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramdaoss said: “Time and again we have told all state governments and medical colleges to take strong anti-ragging measures.”

“We will again ask all the state government and the Medical Council of India to sit together so that such incidents do not happen again,” he told reporters in Chennai.

“Aman had come to the capital for his one month vacation. He went back on Feb 16. But during that time he was more than happy,” the victim’s first cousin Virkein Dhar, a final year architecture student, told IANS.

“He told us about ragging but we thought that it will finish in one or two months. He told us that he was once slapped by his seniors and was even forced by them to cut his hair very short,” she said.

“We have also undergone ragging but not to this extent. A senior of his college told us that he suffered from ragging for nearly two and a half years. This kind of ragging is insane. It seems that college has a weird tradition. We don’t want this to happen to anyone else,” she further said.

Kachru’s uncle Rohit Dhar added: “He had complained to us. We should have called him back. If only we had, he would have been alive today. Aman and 12 other students had complained to the college authorities about the ragging by seniors but the college never took any action.”

He alleged that there was also delay in providing medical attention to Aman.

“He shared his experiences with me. He told about the tough times he was having. The seniors sometimes used to send him for bringing beer and if he did not go he was thrashed,” said a colleague of Aman Kachru.

The principal of the medical college, S. Sankhyan, said the four senior students had been suspended from the college for two years. Hostel warden Pradeep Bansal and hostel manager Deepak Verma have also been suspended.

At least 13 other first semester students were ragged by the seniors. This is in violation of Supreme Court guidelines making ragging a crime.

Aman Kachru, whose family originally hails from Jammu and Kashmir but is now settled in Gurgaon, was a brilliant student, family members said.

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