The Himachal Pradesh police on Tuesday booked four senior medical students for causing the death of a first semester student on Sunday by ragging and severely beating him up in a government medical college in the hill state's Kangra district.
The victim, 19-year-old Aman Kachru, died Sunday - a few hours after being ragged late Saturday by four final year students of the Rajindra Prasad Medical College at Tanda town, 20 km from the district headquarter town of Kangra.
Police officials said here that Kachru died of head and other injuries sustained after being beaten up by drunk seniors during ragging.
Himachal Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) SR Mardi told IANS that a case of murder (Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code) had been registered against the four senior students.
They had earlier been booked for culpable homicide (Section 304) by the police.
"After receiving the postmortem report, the case has been converted to that of murder. Two have been arrested while two others are still absconding," Mardi said.
The students arrested are Ajay Verma and Naveen Verma, Deputy Superintendent of Police OP Jamwal said.
Abhinav Verma and Mukul Sharma were absconding, he added.
Though the victim gave a complaint to the college authorities and the police after being beaten up, both reacted to it only after he died under mysterious circumstances. The role of the local police and the hospital authorities is under the scanner for not having reacted till the victim died.
Himachal Health Minister Rajiv Bindal said that a magisterial probe had been ordered into the incident.
"We will take strict action against the senior students who indulged in ragging and anyone else who showed laxity in curbing ragging. If a murder case has to registered against the senior students, it will be done on the basis of the postmortem report," Bindal told IANS earlier.
Medical College principal S Sankhyan offered to resign from his post following the incident.
He said that all the four senior students had been suspended from the college for two years.
The hostel warden, Pradeep Bansal, and hostel manager, Deepak Verma, were suspended by the college authorities Monday.
At least 13 other first semester students were ragged by their seniors in clear violation of Supreme Court guidelines which make ragging a crime and their complaint with the college authorities did not lead to any action to end their suffering.
The Tanda medical college has been infamous in this peaceful hill state for illegal ragging and other activities by senior students. Even state government doctors fear being posted in this college.
Kachru, whose family originally hails from Jammu and Kashmir but is now settled in Gurgaon, was a brilliant student, family members said. His father is a doctor in Tanzania.