Shimla: The four medical college students convicted of ragging to death their junior, Aman Kachroo, in Himachal Pradesh may soon return to the classroom. The state government freed the students Aug 15, seven months before their four-year rigorous imprisonment was to end.
They are likely to be given admission again to Rajendra Prasad Medical College and Hospital in Tanda in Kangra district from this session. Ajay Verma, Naveen Verma, Abhinav Verma and Mukul Sharma were held guilty in November last year for Aman’s death March 8, 2009.
After the incident, the students were expelled from the college for two years.
Official sources said the convicts had approached the Himachal Pradesh University in Shimla, under which the medical college falls, to get them readmitted to complete their course.
“Since their expulsion has to be reviewed after two years, they have approached the university. We are taking legal opinion in this regard,” said a university official.
College principal Anil Chauhan said Thursday the university had the provision to allow them to complete their degree course.
“The students were expelled for two years and the term has been completed. Now they can approach the parent body. Since the university governs all rules and regulation, it is up to the university to decide their readmission,” he said
“There is no harm in giving them a chance to rehabilitate,” he said.
The three convicts were third-year MBBS students, while the fourth, Ajay Verma, was an intern at the time of the incident.
“The government has tainted them forever,” said Aman’s father Rajendar Kachroo after coming to know about the convicts’ release from prison.
“The boys had only a few more months to complete their regular sentence. By staying in jail they would have elevated themselves morally and made a contribution to the cause of eradication of ragging,” he said.
Additional District and Sessions Judge Purinder Vaidya had held them guilty of violating Sections 304 II (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 452 (house-trespass after preparation for hurt, assault or wrongful restraint), 34 (common intent) and 342 (wrongful confinement) of the Indian Penal Code.
A Supreme Court-appointed committee had visited the college and found rampant alcoholism on the campus and lack of anti-ragging norms as the reason behind Aman’s death.
The committee had recommended action against then college Principal Suresh Sankhyan, who resigned from the post after the incident and was compulsorily retired by the government a day before he was to officially retire Oct 31, 2009.
“Aman collapsed and died due to injuries which the post-mortem report has linked to the incident of ragging,” said a magisterial inquiry by the state government, holding Sankhyan responsible for the lapses.