Candle-light vigils demand justice for ragging victim (Lead)

March 15th, 2009 - 12:32 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi/Tanda (Himachal Pradesh), March 14 (IANS) Hundreds of people marched and held candle-light vigils in New Delhi and Himachal Pradesh’s Tanda town Saturday evening to demand justice for Aman Kachru, a medical student who died after ragging.
Emotions ran high as relatives and friends of Aman, 19, and their hundreds of supporters marched from the Jantar Mantar observatory near Connaught Place on the Parliament Street in the capital and on the college campus and within the Himachal town.

“I am thankful to everyone present here for their support. The movement for justice will continue not only for Aman, but also for other victims of ragging,” said an overwhelmed Rajender Kachru, Aman’s father, in Delhi.

Aman died March 8 after he was beaten up in the name of ragging allegedly by four final-year students of his medical college in Tanda. Police said he died of wounds in head and other parts of body.

Rajender Kachru said he met Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium in the morning.

“He (Subramanium) assured me that he will be filing a petition in the Supreme Court for Aman’s case to be moved in the fast-track mode, and that this case will serve as an exemplary one for future cases of ragging,” Kachru said.

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

The four senior students involved in the incident have been arrested and booked for murder charges. The Himachal government has ordered a magisterial probe in this regard.

Neelam Katara, who fought hard for justice after her son Nitish was murdered, also participated in the protest march in Delhi.

She said: “We can’t get anywhere by keeping quiet. Ragging should be given zero tolerance. There should be implementation of laws, and people must feel scared to commit a crime like ragging. This will happen only if it is deemed and considered a crime.”

The protesters also demanded the implementation of existing laws and passing of an anti-ragging law.

Pooja, a 22-year-old mass communication student, said in Delhi: “Sadly this is not a stray case. Cases of students committing suicide fearing ragging are all well known. The government must act.”

Meanwhile, a team of the Medical Council of India (MCI) is visiting the medical college next week to inquire about the incident and the steps taken by college authorities to check ragging.

Anil Chauhan, the new principal of the medical college, said a communication from the MCI regarding the visit had been received.

“College authorities will cooperate with the visiting MCI team members,” he said.

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