Thursday, September 12, 2013

Another ragging skeleton tumbles out of Himachal cupboard

 With memories of Aman Kachroo ragging case still fresh in mind, a new case of harassment of a 16-year-old student by his seniors at Sundernagar Polytechnic College has now come to light. The boy, a first year student of automobile engineering in Government Polytechnic College of Sundernagar in Mandi, has been referred to the Indira Gandhi Medical College and State Hospital in Shimla with serious injuries and burn marks inflicted by cigarette butts.

The student is under trauma and hardly speaks to anyone, said his parents who traced him somewhere in Punjab when the boy walked out of the private PG (paying guest) accommodation after the torture by the seniors. Two students, who were immediately suspended by the College authorities, were produced in a Juvenile Court on Thursday. They were granted bail and sent for counselling.

 The victim’s parents, who demanded severe punishment for the culprits, disclosed that their son had been depressed for some time and was not responding normally to their phone calls. With remorse they said that they could not gauge the behavioural change in their son, or else they would have brought him home earlier. He was threatened by the culprits not to disclose anything to his parents or teachers, they said.

 They alleged that their son, feeling humiliated and hurt, was told to arrange for drugs by the other inmates of the PG and the same treatment must have been meted out by other juniors in the college. The victim has received injuries on legs, arms, face and private parts.

We have recovered his blood-stained clothes from his PG, they said. The State has implemented strict anti-ragging laws after the Aman Satya Kachroo case. The first year student of Rajendra Prasad Tanda Medical College in Kangra had died on March 8, 2009 when he was brutally beaten up by four of his drunken seniors. A trial court had convicted all the four accused in November 2010 and had sentenced them to four years of rigorous imprisonment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

 However, according to sources, ragging menace still continues in private and government professional colleges and even boarding schools in the hill State. But a majority of them go unreported.

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