The negligence of successive governments in Himachal Pradesh in dealing with ragging has come to light following the death of first- year medical student Aman Kachru four days ago. The state has no law against ragging.
This means that though the four accused in Kachru’s death have been charged with murder, other students who may have played a role in the crime and the college authorities, are likely to go scot-free, a senior police officer said.
An ordinance promulgated to deal with the menace during the term of the BJP’s Shanta Kumar as chief minister in 1992 just faded into oblivion. The ordinance was neither brought before the legislative assembly for conversion into law and neither did successive BJP and Congress governments bother about it.
The Shanta Kumar government had in 1992 prepared a draft legislation to check it. A maximum of three years’ imprisonment had been proposed in the draft. Provision was also made to punish officials of an educational institution for abetting ragging or displaying negligence in dealing with complaints of ragging.
The ordinance could not be placed by the Kumar ministry before the assembly as his government was dismissed following the of the Babri Masjid demolition in 1992.
After that, successive governments headed by the Congress’s Virbhadra Singh and the BJP’s P.K. Dhumal did not enact legislation to prohibit ragging.
“Till now, I have not seen the ordinance that was promulgated at that time but if need be, we will bring the ordinance in the assembly during the monsoon session,” Dhumal told Hindustan Times.