Initial investigation into the alleged suicide of ragging victim Amit Kumar (21) at Gautam Polytechnic in Hamirpur suggests that the college is guilty of not acting on his complaint in time.
Harassed, ragged, and threatened, the first-year civil engineering diploma student, days before he was found dead on August 28, had written a complaint against two seniors to the college, and the anti-ragging law required it to act in 24 hours. "The college let the time go, even as the victim had given it clear identities and telephone numbers of the accused," Hamirpur assistant superintendent of police Samsher Singh confirmed on Sunday.
The college did not even have the mandatory anti- ragging committee, leave alone the senior teachers and student representatives as members. Deep Chand, father of victim Amit Kumar, accused the college of trying to hush the incident up and being complicit in crime by inaction.
"My son was in trauma and the college took his complaint lightly," Chand alleged. Principal Rajneesh Gautam confirmed that the victim had made a written complaint but said the college authorities had found the telephones switched off on calling at the numbers he had submitted.
"This is a ridiculous excuse," said Chand, adding: "The accused were in the college only. Now the college claims one of them is not even its student and that it had formed a committee to look into the matter."
Case against two seniors
Police have registered a case against senior students Bal Krishan and Rishi Gautam, besides the college authorities, under Section 306 (abetment to suicide) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and multiple sections of the Himachal Pradesh Educational Institutions Provisions of Ragging Act.
Five years ago, the death of medical student Aman Kachroo during ragging in the state had triggered public outrage and a nationwide debate. The Himachal Pradesh anti-ragging law enacted then is strong but, as another death now proves, its implementation in the private colleges remains weak.
On the rise again
This is the third incident of ragging in Himachal Pradesh and second in Hamirpur district in August alone
August 28: Polytechnic student Amit Kumar commits suicide allegedly after being harassed by seniors
August 27: A final-year student of Government Polytechnic, Sundernagar, booked for ragging a girl.
August 20: The National Institute of Technology expels 28 students accused of ragging juniors