Family, friends and common citizens gathered on Saturday at Jantar Mantar in memory of 19-year-old Amann Kachroo, who fell victim to brutal ragging at his medical college in Himachal Pradesh.
His teary-eyed family along with approximately 200 friends held a candlelight march. Holding banners and placards, they called for a timely and speedy trial in his murder case and demanded accountability from Rajendra Prasad Medical College where Amann studied.
Recalling how her son would call her up, saying he could not sleep at night, Amann’s mother, Priya said, “Action must be taken against the college principal.”
Amann’s father Rajendra Kachroo said, “I am working to ensure that Amann is the last victim to ragging. I thank everyone for coming here, and supporting the cause.”
“The incident was very unfortunate. By gathering here we hope to create awareness to prevent such crimes,” said Joan Hynes, a family friend from the UK.
Also, present was Neelam Katara, who felt the incident was shameful and demanded justice.
Amann’s friends claimed to be unaware of the ordeal he was going through. “We just hope we can eradicate this heinous crime,” said Rishabh Gandhi, one of Amann’s friends from DPS International.
“There have been more than 20 deaths due to ragging since the Supreme Court’s ban in June 2001. I feel the government should now amend the Indian Penal Code to make ragging an offence,” said Rohit Kaliyal, a protester.
Another friend of the deceased, Ajay Singh, said, “I feel since Amann comes from an affluent family, his case has been highlighted. There must be several young students from less privileged backgrounds who have lost their lives to a similar cause. Ragging has to be taken more seriously.”
Student activist Aditya Raj Kaul said, “This is an honest and humble beginning to a national campaign against ragging. The Kachroo family and many friends have dedicated themselves to the cause. Let’s hope their sacrifice is the last.”