Four medical students held for ragging death now face murder charge

March 10th, 2009 - 6:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Tanda (Himachal Pradesh), March 10 (IANS) Four students of a government medical college, arrested for causing the death of a junior by severely beating him during ragging, now face the murder charge, the police said Tuesday.
The four students are Abhinav Verma, Mukul Sharma, Ajay Verma and Naveen Verma.

First-year student Aman Kachru, 19, died Sunday - a few hours after being ragged late Saturday by four final-year students of the Rajendra Prasad Medical College at Tanda town, 20 km from the district headquarters town of Kangra.

“Now all the four accused are in our custody,” Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) S.R. Mardi told IANS. They have been arrested for murder (Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code). Earlier, they were accused of culpable homicide (Section 304) not amounting to murder.

Health Minister Rajeev Bindal said the accused students “are of a criminal mindset”.

“As per initial investigations, the four students are of criminal mindset… and were under the influence of some intoxicant,” Bindal said.

“Kachru recorded his statement before his death that the accused brutally ragged him under the influence of some intoxicant,” he said.

Bindal said the police were investigating the four students’ activities within and outside the college campus.

“I got a phone call on March 8 that a ragging victim has been hospitalised. I immediately spoke to the college principal and directed the district administration to record the statement (of the victim),” Bindal said.

The authorities and the minister apparently knew about the ragging incidents in the college.

“Even on March 6, I directed the college principal to check the ragging menace,” Bindal said.

Asked to elaborate on the role of the college principal, the minister said: “The police are investigation the case. I can’t comment too much. Even his (the principal’s) role is under scrutiny.”

On the basis of the post-mortem examination report, the police have now slapped a case of murder against the four students. They were earlier accused of culpable homicide (Section 304).

Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal said the accused don’t have the right to become doctors. “Those who were involved in the barbaric incident have no right to become doctors. Severe action will be taken against the guilty,” he said.

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