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Verdict in Aman Kachru’s ragged-to-death case

Dharamsala,  The verdict in the ragged-to-death case of medical student Aman Kachru in a Himachal Pradesh college that shook the nation will be pronounced Thursday — almost two years after the incident took place.Aman, 19, died March 8 last year after he was llegedly ragged by four seniors – Ajay Verma, Naveen Verma, Abhinav Verma and Mukul Sharma — of the Rajendra Prasad Medical College and Hospital in Tanda in Kangra district.The four senior students have been tried for Aman’s death on the charge of murder under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code.A fast-track court here that framed charges against the accused Aug 13, 2009, reserved its verdict after hearing the arguments of the prosecution and defence Oct 30 this year.The judgment would be pronounced by Additional District and Sessions Judge Purinder Vaidya Thursday, court officials said.Special Public Prosecutor Jiwan Lal Sharma pleaded that Aman was brutally beaten up under the garb of ragging by his seniors and succumbed to his injuries. However, the defence contended that Aman was a heart patient and that could be one of the reasons for his death.The court during the trialrecorded the statements of 38 witnesses, comprising doctors, police personnel and Aman’s father Rajendra Kachru.Appearing in the court for the first time in the case Aug 28 this year, Rajendra Kachru said his son spoke to him in detail about the incident of ragging that took place March 6, 2009.’Aman even told me that he had given in writing a complaint to college authorities regarding the (ragging) incident. Three to four hours after I got the phone call from Aman, somebody informed me on telephone from the college that he had passed away,’ Kachru said.The court also re-examined two doctors – Harjeet Pal Singh of the ENT (ear, nose and throat) department, and D.P. Swami, associate professor of forensic medicine department of the hospital.Singh was on duty when he examined Aman’s ears a few hours after the ragging incident, while Swami conducted the post-mortem examination.The autopsy report confirms the cause of death as neurogenic shock due to ante-mortem head injury — sub-arachnoid haemorrhage.The fast-track court Aug 2, 2010, resumed the trial against the accused students after they surrendered on cancellation of their bail by the Himachal Pradesh High Court.The magisterial inquiry conducted by the state government into Aman’s death has concluded that he died due to ragging.’Aman collapsed and died due to injuries which the post-mortem report has linked to the incident of ragging,’ said the report, holding college principal Suresh Sankhyan responsible for the lapses.Sankhyan, who resigned from the post after the incident, was compulsorily retired by the government last month, just a day before he was to officially retire Oct 31.He was accused of negligence in checking incidents of ragging in the college when he was the principal.After Aman’s death, the state government passed an anti-ragging legislation, making ragging a cognisable, non-bailable offence.Aman, whose family originally hails from Jammu and Kashmir but is now settled in Gurgaon near Delhi, was a brilliant student. He did his schooling from DPS International in Saket. He enrolled in the medical college in August 2007.

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