Medical council team completes probe into ragging death

March 19th, 2009 - 6:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Shimla, March 19 (IANS) A three-member team of the Medical Council of India (MCI) Thursday completed its probe into the death of a first-year medical student in Himachal Pradesh allegedly due to ragging.
Aman Kachru, 19, died March 8, a few hours after being allegedly ragged by four final-year students of the Rajendra Prasad Medical College at Tanda town.

The police said he died of wounds in head and other parts of body.

“We (the MCI team) studied in detail the allegations of ragging and sexual harassment levelled by the victim (Kachru) and inquired into the alleged negligence of doctors in treating the victim,” MCI joint secretary P. Prsannory told IANS.

The team reached the college Wednesday. The team also reviewed the steps taken by college authorities to check ragging before and after the incident.

The other two members of the team were Baldev Singh Aulakh, associate professor of urology at Dayanand Medical College in Ludhiana, and Manoj Kumar Singh, head of the department of pathology at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi.

When asked about further affiliation and stopping of central grants of Rajendra Prasad Medical College, Prsannory said: “The MCI will take a decision in this regard. Our job is just to inquire the matter and submit the report to the council (MCI).”

Anil Chauhan, the new principal of the medical college, said the MCI team had recorded the statements of doctors from various departments, staff of the college, Kachru’s friends and students and completed its probe.

“More than 300 people were quizzed. Even doctors who treated Kachru and who conducted the post mortem were questioned by the team,” he said.

Despite the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court, ragging is not uncommon in Himachal Pradesh.

A year ago, 16 newcomers of this college were forced to spend their night near a rivulet. Next day, they lodged a complaint with the police against three senior students. College authorities issued their suspension order and later revoked it after a compromise between the complainants and the accused.

Similarly, a case of physical and mental torture of freshers by groups of senior students came from Rajiv Gandhi Government Postgraduate Ayurvedic College at Paprola in Kangra district Aug 26, 2008.

Taking a serious view of ragging incident, the Supreme Court March 16 issued show-cause notice for contempt proceedings against the principal and the registrar of the Rajendra Prasad Medical College and sought explanations from the Himachal Pradesh government.

A bench of Justices Arijit Pasayat and Asok Kumar Ganguly said that time has come to cut off government financial aid to those institutions which have failed to curb the menace of ragging as earlier directed by the apex court.

“It appears that the concern shown by this court have not been taken seriously by the authorities. Prima facie it is a contempt of this court,” the judges observed in their order.

The state government said it is preparing to bring in a new ordinance to check the menace.

“We (the government) have directed the home department to prepare a new ordinance against ragging in the state,” state Health Minister Rajeev Bindal said.

Meanwhile, a Kangra court Thursday extended the police remand of the four students

booked for murder charges till April 1.

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