Anti-ragging bill introduced in Himachal assembly

SHIMLA - If a bill introduced in the Himachal Pradesh assembly Wednesday is passed, students caught ragging will not only be expelled and be ineligible for admission to any other institution for three years, but might also find themselves behind bars for the “non-bailable” offence.

State Education Minister Ishwar Dass Dhiman Wednesday introduced the Himachal Pradesh Educational Institutions (Prohibition of Ragging) Bill, 2009, in the assembly.

The bill makes ragging a cognisable, non-bailable and compoundable offence with the permission of the court. No person will practice ragging in any form, within or outside the premises of an educational institution.

The offender will be expelled from the institution and will not be eligible for admission to any other institution for a period of three years.

The bill says that whenever a complaint of ragging is made in writing, the head of the educational institution will be required to conduct an inquiry within 24 hours.

Aman Kachru, 19, died March 8, a few hours after being allegedly ragged by four final-year students of the college. The police said he died of wounds on the head and other parts of body.

Four students - Ajay Verma, Naveen Verma, Abhinav Verma and Mukul Sharma - accused of assaulting Kachru were arrested soon after his death. They are facing murder charge under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code.

A fast-track court in Dharamsala Tuesday framed murder charges against the four accused students. The court has fixed Oct 20 to 23 for recording of evidences. There are 71 witnesses in the case.

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