By: Ravinder Vasudeva
Shimla: The magisterial inquiry ordered by the Himachal Pradesh government into the death of Aman Kachroo, a student of Dr Rajender Prasad Tanda Medical College in Kangra district of the state, has found that Aman died due to ragging by four senior students, namely Ajay Verma (Intern), Abhinav Verma, Naveen Verma and Mukul Sharma (all 2nd year students). The report also suggests that despite repeated complaints about ragging incidence in the medical college, the college administration failed to curb the menace. “These four boys unauthorisedly entered the Junior Boys Hostel in an inebriated state at 2.00AM in the intervening night of 6/7 March, 2009 and security guard of the warden let these boys enter without any resistance,” the report states.
All the freshers were called in the common room and were lined up with their heads down. They were slapped, made to stand/sit in torturous postures and their heads were banged against the wall,” says the inquiry report submitted by Additional Divisional Magistrate (ADM) of Kangra at Dharamshala. The report revealed that there was a furry of slaps, punches and banging of heads against the wall by the four senior boys while they were yelling at the top of their voices and abusing the freshers. “Aman suffered ear perforation because of beating in the beginning; therefore, he had left the common room. But his absence was noticed by Ajay Verma who called him back to the common room. Despite mercy appeal by Aman, he was badly thrashed by all the four seniors, more particularly by Ajay Verma. The trend of this kind of ragging continued till 4.00AM in the common room. Some of the junior boys were again called to Room No. 209, where they were ordered to assume “murga” posture while they were subjected to verbal abuse. The seniors smoked a cigarette and left in between 4.00 AM to 4.30 AM”, suggests the inquiry. On the next day, none of the freshers complained to the college authorities and attended the classes in a routine manner. Aman went to ENT OPD in the forenoon and got examined his left ear from Dr. Harjeet Pal Singh, where he was diagnosed “traumatic ear perforation.” It was only when Health Minister Dr. Rajeev Bindal spoke to Principal Dr. Suresh Sankhyan on phone on 08-03-2009 at 3:30PM that the news of ragging in the intervening night of 6/7 March in the Fresher’s Hostel came to the notice of college administration. Principal telephoned Deepak Verma, manager of hostels to look into the matter. Following this conversation, the prinicipal spoke to warden oDr. Pradeep Bansal, who was on a medical camp at Kotla, District Kangra (HP). Therefore, manager of the hostel Deepak Verma was asked to record the statements of students who went to the Fresher’s Hostel and asked the students about the incident and told them to give their statements in writing. It being Sunday , some students had gone to their homes or were not in the hostel. When the self-written statements of students were being taken, Aman wanted to append the ENT OPD slip with his statement. He went to the photostat shop in the college premises but could not get the OPD slip copied, so he handed over the statement without OPD slip. “While other were writing the statements, Aman was busy speaking to someone on his mobile phone in the corridor of the hospital. At about 6.00PM he came to the room and complained of very fast heart beat and fell down in an unconscious state. The unconscious Aman Kachroo was shifted from hostel to casualty of hospital at a distance of 200 meters in the van of the canteen contractor. At about 6.55PM Aman was shifted to CCU where but was declared clinically dead at about 7.20PM and provisional reason of his collapse was stated to be “cardiac death”, disclosed the report. The inquiry found no recorded complaint of ragging in the college by Aman Kachroo or any of his relatives. Aman’s father has informed the inquiry officer that Aman had brought to his notice the earlier incident of ragging since he was admitted in the college. But he (Aman) also told him not to complain to the authorities as that could have made his life miserable in the college. The inquiry officer also found from Aman’s classmates stated that Aman was quite often targeted in the name of ragging since he stood out because of his extra-ordinary dynamic personality, accent and dialect.
The inquiry has found from the postmortem report that Aman died because of neurogenic shock due to antimortem head injury (SUBARACHANOID HAEMORRHAGE) and such injuries were possible only due to infliction of blows through fist and palm, with moderate to severe force on the both sides of middle of head. The inquiry report has found the incompetent role of the college administration in dealing with ragging incidents in the college, especially of the college principal (Who in now on suspension after Aman’s death ), “College authority’s mechanism to deal with such reported incidents was very casual. As and when such a matter had been brought to the notice of the college administration by the affected students or their parents, the matter was taken to a College Disciplinary Committee.
“There is not a single instance where substantial punitive action was taken by the college administration in the ragging incidents”, finds the report. The report has found a case in which apathy of the college administration to deal strictly with those involved in the act of ragging had forced a 1st year Tibetan student Tashi Wangla, to decide to quit studies in 2004. Owing to the interference by the Dalai Lama, the College administration instead of tackling the root problem, had side-stepped the issue by providing a separate accommodation to the boy in the college residential colony. The inquiry report has also raised question over the casual security arrangements in the medical college. Meanwhile, following the outcome of the report, the health department of the Himachal Pradesh has issued show cause notices to the 27 medical teachers in the college who have remained wardens in the institute since 2001, asking them their conduct during their working as the warden.
If the ragging is done under the superintendence,direction & control of principal of medical college then how the warden can stop the ragging especially when wardens have no authority to suspend the student even from the hostel.Wardens were just a pupets and entire responsibility is that of principal.One warden was sitting in principal room when the phone from HM came,then why he was not asked to enquire into the matter.There is total chaos in college.Juniormost principal in medical college has been made as MS of hospital & all seniors are forced to work under a junior.Govt is responsible for all these chaos especially Secretary of the department.The most surprising thing is that Director of Medical education is bypassed by Principal of medical college who is making direct correspondence to the secretary.All ills starts from the top
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