west-bengal-news

Probe school incidents: Bengal rights panel

Kolkata, Sep 18 : The West Bengal Human Rights Commission (WBHRC) Wednesday ordered a probe into a North 24-Parganas district school girl's death in ragging and subsequent ransacking of the institution earlier this month.


Taking suo motu cognisance of the chain of events, the full bench of the commission directed the state home secretary to conduct a probe by an officer not below the rank of additional director general of police and submit a report.

"The bench expressed serious concern over the happenings and decided to order the probe. The investigation will include death of the student, vandalism of the school by guardians and outsiders, police inaction and the principal's arrest," said a WBHRC official.

Oindrila Das, a class 5 student at the Christ Church School in Dum Dum, died Sep 11, a week after she was allegedly locked inside a school toilet by some of her seniors who demanded money from her as part of ragging.

A day after her death, hundreds of people - mostly parents and guardians - ransacked the 131-year-old school, confined the principal and other teachers inside a dark room, and eventually forced principal Helen Sircar to resign. Hours later, she was arrested.

Sircar, who was freed on bail Tuesday, told media persons Wednesday she was forced to resign by the police "under instructions from the mob".

Meanwhile, the Calcutta Diocese of the Church of North India which runs the school has announced that over 1,000 Christian-run schools will observe Sep 19 as a "black day" and remain shut.

--IANS (Posted on 18-09-2013)

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