M A I N   N E W S

Aman’s killers get 4-year jail
Judgment delivered speedily in ragging-death case at medical college near Dharamsala
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

 Aman Kachroo case 

A first-year student at Tanda medical college in Himachal, Aman beaten up during ragging; dies on March 7, 2009


Criminal case registered against four of his seniors (shown below) on the basis of a complaint lodged with the college authorities by Aman before his death


Four-year RI under Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder). Additional four months under other sections, which would run concurrently

 Prosecution plea... 

Accused be sentenced to 10 years in jail, a sentence that would serve as a deterrent for the society against ragging

 Demand of defence... 

Three accused — Abhinav, Mukul, Navin — be let off on probation as they were under-21 at the time of the crime

Dharamsala, November 11
After a 15-month trial, a local court today sentenced to four-year rigorous imprisonment all four accused medical students in the infamous Aman Kachroo ragging and death case.

Additional District and Sessions Judge (Kangra) Purinder Vaidya pronounced the judgment after convicting the accused under Section 304 of the IPC (culpable homicide not amounting to murder). Also, they were sentenced to three-month jail under Sections 352 (criminal trespassing) and 34 (common intention) and one month under 342 (wrongful confinement) of the IPC. All the sentences would, however, run concurrently.

Besides, a fine of Rs 10,000 was slapped on the convicts — Abhinav Verma, Mukul Sharma, Navin Verma and Ajay Verma — failure to pay which would invite an additional imprisonment of six months. The charge under Section 302 (murder) of the IPC was, however, dropped due to the lack of evidence.

The Judge said the ragging menace had to be dealt with sternly so that no such incidents were repeated.

Notably, it was at 2 am on the intervening night of March 6/7 that the accused told all the first-year students to come out of their rooms at the hostel of Rajendra Prasad Medical College and Hospital in Tanda. After telling the juniors to line up in the gallery, one of the four seniors slapped Aman on the left side of his face, it was learnt. Aman rushed back to his room, saying his left ear had started bleeding. But the seniors forced their way into the room and brought him back, this time hitting Aman on the right side. They apparently chose Aman first as the latter had already complained to the college authorities once about the seniors.

The next day (March 7), Aman showed himself to an ENT doctor. He also filed a written complaint with the college principal against the four seniors. In the meantime, his father Rajinder Kachroo, too, called up the Himachal Pradesh Health Minister who, in turn, rang up the principal. An inquiry was initiated.

At around 7 pm on the same day, Aman reportedly went into a shock at the hostel. He was taken to the hospital where doctors declared him dead at about 7:20 pm. It was Aman’s complaint against the four accused that later served as the basis for the case.

During the arguments today, prosecution counsel demanded that the convicts be given the maximum 10-year punishment, as permissible under the sections they were convicted, saying the judgment should act as a deterrent for the society against ragging. The accused forced their entry into the victim’s room and beat him mercilessly also displayed their intention, the counsel argued.

On the other hand, the defence counsels demanded probation for the three accused, including Abhinav Verma, Mukul Sharma and Navin Verma, on the plea that they were below 21 years of age when the crime was committed. They even quoted the e-mail of Aman’s father Rajinder Kachroo in which he said: “I feel the administration of Tanda medical college is more responsible for the death of his son rather than the four accused in the case.”

For lowering the quantum of punishment, the defence even cited the “good conduct” of the trio in jail.

...A family torn apart: Photos from the Kachroo’s family album.
Clockwise from top: The Kachroo family in happier days, Aman with friends
and as a young boy








Father still unhappy
Tribune News Service

Dharamsala/ New Delhi, November 11
Aman’s father Rajinder Kachroo today said he was “dissatisfied with the quantum of punishment”. In an e-mail to The Tribune, Rajinder said: “We are not happy with the quantum of punishment that has been given to the accused… The quantum has diluted the message. One of the accused had a violent background. He started the entire episode and was the leader of the gang. He should have been given severest punishment. There should have been a distinction created between the ring leader and the rest.”

Also, he asked the HRD Ministry and the UGC why the anti-ragging project, which the Supreme Court directed to be put into place last year, continued to hang fire.

This technology-based prevention plan comprised four components -- a call centre, two types of data bases and an NGO as a monitoring agency. Before becoming part of the order of the Supreme Court, the plan was even approved by the Raghavan Committee and regulatory authorities including the UGC.





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