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AMAN KACHROO - "RAGGED (HAZED) TO DEATH" - AJAY VERMA, NAVEEN VERMA, ABHINAV VERMA, MUKUL SHARMA ON TRIAL

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Oct 31 10 9:30 AM

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Professor Rajendra "Raj" Kachroo, a civil engineer, married soft spoken Priya Kaul,
the eldest of three sisters, in an arranged marriage. DAILY MAIL - Kaul sisters
 
   
             Priya, Alexa and Sereena Kaul 

The sisters have dedicated their book to Priya's son, Aman, "who truly believed
in us." (A recipe book based on the consoling cuisine that saw them through a

traumatic upbringing)

Professor Rajendra Kachroo and his sister own a clothing factory in Delhi, India.

Priya Kaul
"'They were friends of the family so my parents knew everything about him."
 
Their marriage has been a happy one and they are blessed with two children,
Sinead and Aman.
 
Priya
"I had two, but my son died last year."
 
 "The sisters' eyes fill up with tears, and Priya is too upset to elaborate.
Later, the others explain that Aman died after being assaulted by fellow
students at medical school in India in an initiation rite that went horribly
wrong. He was 19."
 

                            Aman Kachroo & father Rajendra


                        Sinead and father Rajendra



Aman top left, sister Sinead bottom right (seated) with their cousins.

                                      AMAN KACHROO
 
Aman Kachroo (19), a beloved son and nephew, wanted to study medicine.
With that goal in mind he enrolled in the Rajendra Prasad Medical College
in Tanda town near Dharamsala, India.
 
    
                                      AMAN KACHROO
 
Aman is a first-year student. Often he complains to his parents about drunken
behaviour of the 3rd year medical students. His parents do not realize it's as
serious, or worse, as Aman is telling them.
 
Rajendra Kachroo
"I didn't take my son seriously when he complained of ragging."
 
Sinead Kachroo (21)
"My brother had mentioned that He was being ragged a few times.
We never understood the depth if it. He did not tell us that He was
being beaten, it think it was because He was scared to do so.
 
We would have taken action and He knew it. I guess He figured that
He couldn’t afford to get into any kind of trouble with His seniors. 
I can imagine Him being stuck in the position that He was in.
 
After all, the head surgeons son was the ‘Ring leader ‘of the mob that
beat Him.The accused had been reprimanded multiple times before
on similar cases of ragging. I can imagine, He calculated that a
complaint would land Him in more trouble with His seniors than he
already was in. The poor boy was only 19, He didn’t deserve to be
in a position to make such decisions for himself.


RAGGING - A RITE OF "INITIATION" ACROSS INDIA
 
THE TRIBUNE
"A young man is belted and slapped repeatedly. A girl is made to sit naked all
day in a tub of freezing water. Many students are forced to dance or walk barefoot
for miles."  The treatment being meted out to them is called ragging by society
and "some harmless fun" by their seniors. What started as a harmless ritual
has taken sadistic proportions, where fun is sought in utmost acts of depravity
and abuse qualifies ragging."

RAGGING'S VICTIMS AREN'T JUST STUDENTS -
 
Due to ragging, there are students who have committed suicide.
A mother of a ragging victim was disturbed by the sexual abuse
of her son, she committed suicide.
 
Ragging isn't just beatings, but rapes, sexual harassment, gang rapes
are all committed under the guise of "ragging."
 
Males and females are instigators of the ragging as well as victims.
  
NEWS OUTLOOK INDIA
"Highlighting other horrors that took place in the college premises and hostel
the report states, "the freshers were made to perform all sorts of indecent acts
such as yelling abuses at a high pitch, standing nude, assuming torturous
postures, smoking, drinking (liquor)and masturbating in the corridors."

The ADM said that many freshers told him that many seniors got their
 assignments done through them."

                                   A VICTIM OF EXTREME RAGGING
 
2009 - March 6 - Aman Kachroo is (allegedly) unmercilessly "ragged" by four
                          final-year students of the college, Ajay Verma, Naveen Verma,
                          Abhinav Verma and Mukul Sharma
 
The four senior students, drunk, enter the junior boys hostel during the "wee" hours.
Joginder Singh, the security guard on duty at the entrance lets them in without any
resistance.

"All the freshers were called in the common room and were lined up with their
 heads down. They were slapped, made to stand and sit in torturous postures
and their heads were banged against the wall. They were slapped, punched
and their heads banged against the wall by the four senior boys."

"Kachroo suffered ear pain because of severe beating in the beginning and
therefore left the common room. But, his absence was noticed by one of
the accused students Ajay Verma who called him back to the common
room. Despite his pleas, Aman was badly thrashed by all the four seniors,
more particularly by Ajay Verma.

The sort of ragging continued till early morning in the common room and
some other juniors were again called to another room where they were
subjected to more verbal abuse.

Revelations of Kachroo's room mates to the probe team indicates that Aman
was quite often targeted since he stood out from other students, the report
said, adding that, that this was not an exceptional episode of ragging in
the college."


Sinead Kachroo
"The authorities were indifferent to student complaints, I say this because
there is hard evidence to back my claims,this evidence is with the police.
Also,the four assailants had turned up drunk that night and according to
Amans friends they drank every night.
 
This questions the vigilance of the authorities. How is it that students turn
up drunk and senseless in the college campus and there is no one to take
action against them?

His friends also mentioned that the warden lived far away and hardly ever
visited the hostel. The college has yet to speak to the family and give us
a report verbal or written about what happened. So far there is no proof
that the college has sensitized to the issue. I would appreciate at least
a letter from the school. As yet, not one representative of the college
has come to see us or talk to us about the matter. As far as the state
government is concerned -accountability in these cases is an issue.
It should be addressed."

 
                                    DEATH BY "RAGGING" (HAZING)
 
2009 - March 8 - Aman speaks to his father by telephone.
 
Raj Kachroo
"Aman spoke in detail about the incident of ragging. Aman even told me that
he had given in writing a complaint to college authorities regarding the (ragging)
incident.
 
"If there was a law to prevent ragging, why wasn't it put into action?"

 
Harjeet Pal Singh, registrar, ENT (ear, nose and throat) department is on duty in
the hospital when he examines Aman's ears a few hours after the ragging incident.

 
Sinead Kachroo
"If my brother were treated properly His internal injuries would have been
detected. The day succeeding to the night Aman was beaten He visited
a doctor in the college hospital where He was found to have a perforated
eardrum. Any Doctor should know that a patient with a perforation in the
ear due to repeated blows should be kept for additional investigation.
A CT scan is recommended in the least.

Aman suffered many internal injuries. The perforated ear drum was only
one of them . The doctor should have picked up on the hint and investigated
further. How is it that the doctor saw all of Amans bruises and still sent him
back to the hostel? Why didn’t the doctor tell anyone that the freshers were
being beaten to the extent of having damaged ear drums? If battered wives
are reported then why not battered students?"
 
Besides the Medical negligence of the doctor, there is also the case of
the malfunctioning defibrulator. The doctor was not present in the emergency
ward. These elements could have saved his life. I believe that if Aman had been
treated properly he would not have died."

                                   A GRIEVOUS TELEPHONE CALL

Raj Kachroo
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."
 
 
DP Swami, assistant professor, forensic medicine department conducts the
post-mortem examination on Aman's body.

                                    FORENSIC REPORT

The forensic report - Aman died of brain haemorrhage induced by injury inflicted
through excessive beating.


HEALTH DEPT. STATEMENT "intense ragging in the early hours of 7 March
 2009 lead to circumstances which the post mortem report has established
that death is linked to the incident of ragging."

Principal of the college, Dr. Suresh Sankhyan, is underlined as the key person
responsible for this failure by the reports as he officiated the post frequently at
different times since 2002 and has been regular Principal since 2008. However,
the warden and the security guard, Joginder Singh, are also held guilty by the
reports whereas hostel manager, Deepak Verma, and Chief Warden, Dr.
Ramesh Bharati, are not held guilty of negligence.

                                    FUNERAL - CREMATION

Aman Kachroo is cremated in Delhi with distraught family members in attendance.

  

Raj Kachroo
"We should have called him back when he complained to us about ragging."

          
                                         Priya and Rajendra, parents of Aman

"A"
"Aman Kachroo was my cousin sister's son. He was brilliant in every facet of life,
from his studies, to his gentle and kind heart. He didn't deserve to be treated by
his peers in such an evil way, and certainly didn't deserve to die. I am angered
at those responsible which includes the students who ragged him, the school
officials who ignored his complaints and the local police who dismissed his
officially filed complaint. They should all be hanged. Anything less shall be
no justice at all. Let's see if the the Great Indian Justice system has the guts
to do what is right."


Barely a week after Aman’s death, a girl student of the Bapatla Engineering
College in Andhra Pradesh attempts suicide after she was forced to dance
in the nude by her seniors.
       


                                       CULTURAL PROGRAM

2010 - March 7 - A cultural programme on March 7,  the day that marks one
                         year of Aman's death is being held to create awareness
                         of ragging, towards eradication of ragging. 

        Social networking sites are supporting the cause and raising awareness.


                                  AMAN MOVEMENT
 
 

                               (English language report)

To raise awareness against ragging, and the effects it has on students,
Raj Kachroo quit his job and began campaigning against the practice.
 
 
               
                                              Priya and Rajendra


          
                                
VIDEO - ENGLISH

Raj Kachroo  
"Sending the accused behind bars does not mean we have got justice.
 I will fight against ragging till the end so that no other Aman dies."

"This is a big movement. I have started an awareness campaign across India by
giving lectures and conducting youth conferences. For that I had to leave my job."

 
"The Aman movement has received lot of appreciation from all and we have lot of
members who has joined us through social networking. Even Aman's friends are
helping us in this noble cause."
 
Nothing could bring back what we have lost, but we get some kind of relief when
we see that we could do a little to change a student's life.
 
 "To the achievement of Aman movement the honourable Supreme Court of India
made the implementation of the Plan developed by the Aman Movement mandatory
for execution by the union government and we are glad to report that the process has
already started."

 
"The help line was inaugurated on the June 20, 2009. Work on monitoring and
related databases is going on but still most of the callers remain unhappy as
there is no mechanism of execution. So we are planning to strengthen the
monitoring part. Moreover, we have started collecting data of students 
across India and start awareness through mail and SM."

Sinead Kachroo
"It is sad that something perceived by everyone as fun has turned into
such a menace. The tragedy has taken quite a toll on us,but we have
decided not to allow this to happen again. I am certain that the Movement
we initiated will help save other Amans from such a consequence."
 
"I hope they (accused) are given proper psychiatric care before they
are sent to prison. They derive pleasure from hurting others. This is
a very abnormal trait and they need a good doctor to cure this
perversion. The punishment should definitely set an example but the
problem will only be checked by mass social reform.
 
The whole society must be sensitized.The Aman Movement is
working towards the same."

                                           TRIAL

2010 - July 17 - Bail Granted.
 
The accused have been charged with Culpable Homicide not amounting to
murder. Bail is a bond of Rs 50,000.

Sinead Kachroo
"The courts had the chance to clear the case when the defense lawyer brought
forward the plea for bail, if not clear it then at least give the defense a push to
progress the case . There are thirty five million cases pending in the Indian courts,
this is excluding cases pending in subsidiary district courts and consumer courts.
 
In the words of Dr. Kachroo “The judge should have denied bail and asked the
defense and prosecutor to bring their case forward and argue at the soonest
so a verdict may be reached”. Had the judge after hearing both sides concluded
that the accused are not at fault , then at least the case would have reached some
logical conclusion. A point to be noted is that the case is in a fast track court. So
far it has been one and a half years, the case has come to no conclusion.
The high court initiates suo motu proceedings after bail is granted to the
defendants."


                                           Bail Revoked
 
Justice DD Sud, Himachal Pradesh High Court.(rules in a 37 page order) 
"The order passed by the trial court granting bail to the accused is against law...
accordingly quashed and set aside."

"The trial court would ensure that the trial is conducted from day to day. The court
 would ensure that no undue and unnecessary adjournments are granted to either side."

Ajay Verma, Naveen Verma, Abhinav Verma and Mukul Sharma surrendered to
authorities upon cancellation of their bail.
           
            Himachal Pradesh Court - Judge Purinder Vaidya presiding.
 
The court has recorded the statement of 37 witnesses, comprising doctors
and police personnel.

Ashish Saklani (Aman's roommate) testifies that Aman spoke at length with
                         his father about the ragging incident.

Rajendra Kachroo
"My son spoke to me in detail about the incident of ragging that occurred
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."

"I am in constant touch with the superintendent of police and other district officials
after the ragging incident."


Outside court -
Raj Kachroo
I am quite satisfied with the prosecution. I have full faith in the judiciary."


2010 - August 2 - COURT RESUMES
 
 
2010 - October 1 - COURT RECEIVES AN "ANONYMOUS LETTER"

Himachal Pradesh court receives an 6 page anonymous letter, supposedly written
by a police official, saying the victim Aman talked to his girlfriend on the phone
before he died. The letter suggests that the girl should also be called as her
testimony could prove vital to the case. The letter also contained some mobile
phone details.

Judge Pruinder Vaidya
" A copy of the letter has been provided to both prosecution and defence, they  
are to file their responses to it by October 8 - the date of the next hearing."

Special Public Prosecutor Jiwan Lal Sharma
"We have received a copy of the letter and the reply would be filed soon."
 

2010 - October 30 - CLOSING ARGUMENTS
 
Additional district and sessions Judge Purinder Vaidya heard the arguments
of the prosecution and the defence.
 

Senior Public Prosecutor Jiwan Lal Sharma pleaded today that Aman was
brutally beaten up under the garb of ragging by his four seniors and succumbed
to his injuries.

Defense Counsel Abhimanyu Chopra (concluded his arguments yesterday)
contended that "the deceased was a heart patient and a sudden cardiac arrest
could have caused his death."
 
                                  NOVEMBER 11, 2010 SET FOR VERDICT DATE
                         
A local court today reserved its order in the 2009 ragging-to-death case of
medical student Aman Kachroo and fixed November 11 for pronouncing the
verdict.

Judge Purinder Vaidya 
"The judgment will be delivered on November 11."

                                     AMAN'S SISTER

 "I do believe that the four boys went through torturous ragging when they were
freshers.What happened to them was very wrong.BUT I must say that when
they grew to become seniors they had two choices. The first was to take out
all the anger they had inside them on unsuspecting innocent freshers just like
they were themselves once. The second option was to realize that what
happened to them was wrong and repeating the same will not make them
feel better.

Why is the age of consent 18 ? why are 18 year olds considered mature
enough to drink ? why are 18 year olds old enough to vote ?

From that age onwards we are considered adults. We are expected to make
responsible decisions and are held accountable for them.

When these boys went to the Freshers hostel they knew that what they
were doing was not permitted. They were Drunk. First mistake.They
bribed the security guard. Second mistake. They lined up all of the
freshers and started slapping them. Third mistake.They zeroed in on
the biggest looking one, four against one.They beat him mercilessly.
Biggest mistake.

At every point they had the chance to go back. They didn't. They knew
what they had come for.

I can easily blame the students that tortured those seniors in their past for
damaging their self respect and maybe a couple of bones here and there.
BUT I cannot blame their past to take over their logic. Every one knows
what is right and what is wrong. It is not upto our discretion.It is just wrong.
They will pay for it.The state is taking care of that.

My family and I are not focusing on them. We cant really. Its the state Vs the
Accused. 

We are focusing on eradicating ragging from the face of India.

If you believe in the cause then please sign up as a supporter on
http://amanmovement.org/

Thanks,

Sinead Kachroo
(Amans sister
Aman Movment ) 


                            Sinead Kachroo
 
                                   RAGGING IS ILLEGAL

Sinead Kachroo
"I want students to realise that Ragging is now illegal. They have no say anymore.
Many believe that the initiation process is a tradition that should not be broken or
that it is a process all must go through to become tough and able to face the real
world. Students, teachers and parents must understand that encouragement of
this kind is ridiculous and more importantly the issue is not debatable –
It is simply illegal.
 
It makes no sense to debate. Ragging is just as illegal as assault and murder
unless of course the integrity of those laws are being argued as well.Also students
should realise that ragging is not cool. Freshers should not succumb to ragging.
They should know their rights. If a student feels threatened he/she should report
it immediately and NOT take it lightly. Rape Defence 101-Do not let your attacker
intimidate you! Same applies to freshers.
 
"Ragging is not cool and nor is it debatable. It is simply illegal. Respect the law."


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Dec 20 10 8:21 PM

2010 - December 2 -  HIGH COURT ADMITS APPEAL
 
One of the four convicted students in the ragging death of Aman Kachroo,
Naveen Kumar Verma, has lodged an appeal against his conviction, blaming
media hype for his conviction. 


Verma was sentenced to 4 years imprisonment (as were the other three
culprits).
 

Anup Chitkara (Counsel for Naveen Kumar Verma)
"When the four culprits had started to rag Kachroo the night before he died,
Verma had sent the first-year medicine student back to his room after the
boy told him about a problem in his ear. This incident proved that the
appellant had no intention to cause any physical harm to Kachroo."


Judstice Surinder Sing reviewed and admitted the appeal.


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