Kachru’s college principal forced to retire a day earlier

November 7th, 2010 - 1:59 pm ICT by IANS  

By Vishal Gulati

Shimla, Nov 7 (IANS) A day before he was to retire officially, the principal of the medical college where Aman Kachru was allegedly ragged to death was sent on compulsory retirement over his failure to check ragging.

Suresh Sankhyan, the principal of the Rajendra Prasad Medical College at Tanda in Kangra district, was compulsorily retired by the state government Oct 30, just a day before he was to officialy retire Oct 31.

He was accused of negligence in checking incidents of ragging in the college when he was the principal.

Kachru, 19, died March 8, 2009, after being allegedly ragged by four final year students - Ajay Verma, Naveen Verma, Abhinav Verma and Mukul Sharma.

Principal Secretary (Health) P.C. Dhiman of the Himachal government confirmed the compulsory retirement Sunday.

“Sankhyan has been sent on compulsory retirement before his actual superannuation. He was accused of dereliction of duty, including failure to check ragging that led to Kachru’s death,” Dhiman told IANS.

Sankhyan was placed under suspension after the magisterial inquiry into Kachru’s death concluded that he died due to ragging and blamed Sankhyan for the lapses.

The inquiry had pointed out about 10 instances or complaints of ragging and acts of indiscipline in the college since 2001 but none of the complaints drew any disciplinary action.

“The government has suspended Sankhyan after the ragging incident came to the fore and his services were kept under suspension till he was sent on compulsory retirement,” Dhiman added.

The state government is expected to place before the Supreme Court information about his compulsory retirement. Sankhyan was suspended on the directions of the apex court March 30, 2009.

A bench of Justice Arijit Pasayat and Justice Asok Kumar Ganguly ordered Sankhyan’s immediate suspension after the Medical Council of India and the state government, in their separate reports to the court, disclosed that he had ignored the incidents of ragging despite being informed about these by the hostel security guards.

Soon after Kachru’s death, the state government divested Sankhyan of the post of the college head, but let him continue as head of the department of forensic medicine in the college.

But infuriated over Sankhyan’s inaction, the bench ordered his suspension, saying: “Don’t let him even enter the college premises.”

The bench observed that deaths and suicides by students “due to ragging is a national tragedy”.

A trial court in Dharamsala, hearing the Kachru ragging-to-death case, had reserved its order Oct 30. The court recorded the statement of 38 witnesses, among them doctors, police personnel and the victim’s father Rajendra Kachru.

After hearing the arguments, Additional District and Sessions Judge Purinder Vaidya said the judgment would be pronounced Nov 11.

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