For 56-year-old Rajinder Kachroo, it’s a losing battle that he is waging against a menace that affects millions of students across India.
Kachroo’s son, 19-year-old Aman, was killed by his four seniors at a government medical college in Himachal Pradesh in March 2008 after subjecting him to intense physical torture in the name of ragging.
Though the wounds of his son’s death are yet to heal Kachroo has been shocked ever since the alleged murderers of his son have been given bail by a local court in the hill state.
The Gurgaon-based retired government servant alleged that the Himachal Pradesh, the prosecuting agency, did not pursue the case properly.
"I am highly disappointed not because all the accused are out on bail but it will send out a wrong message. Anybody can get away with murder," Kachroo told MiD DAY.
He is particularly anguished at the role played by the government of Himachal Pradesh. He said he has nothing personal against the murderers of his son but the fact that they got bail in such a sensational killing would only "encourage" others like them.
Kachroo is also peeved at the government apathy towards victims of ragging. According to him, the toll-free helpline set up in July 2009 on Supreme Court instructions, has been a complete failure. Out of 1.5 lakh calls to the call center only 320 complaints were registered till December 2009. And only 178 out of those registered were attended to, an RTI plea revealed. The prosecution came only in 11 cases.
"The helpline has failed completely. We are now fighting for the bigger cause that there should be no more cases like that of Aman. But ever since Aman died, 12 ragging cases have been reported. The helpline sends an email to the vice-chancellor or hostel warden of the institution concerned once a complaint is lodged. Do they expect the authorities to check their mail in the middle of the night? They should be calling the authorities and the police," he said.
For the last one year Kachroo, claims to visit the UGC and the HRD Ministry everyday but "nothing is moving".
"The officials have even stopped responding to me. The peon says you are wasting your time. I get frustrated at times and even cry," said Kachroo, founder of Aman Movement for the Eradication of Ragging.
"What more can a common man do? I will continue my battle for justice to those who have to face ragging.