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HindustanTimes Sat,12 Jul 2014

Kolkata Church officials meet CM

IANS  Kolkata, September 20, 2013
First Published: 11:30 IST(20/9/2013) | Last Updated: 11:37 IST(20/9/2013)

A five-member delegation of the Calcutta Diocese of the Church of North India (CNI) on Thursday met chief minister Mamata Banerjee over the vandalisation of Christ Church School by a mob in the aftermath of Oindrilla Das’s death after alleged ragging.

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The delegation sought the protection of minority-run institutions in the state.

The Christian schools were shut on Thursday to protest police against inaction when vandalism occurred at the school in Dum Dum, North 24-Parganas, last Thursday.

It was at this school that Das, a Class 5 student, died on September 11 allegedly after being ragged by seniors who locked her up in a school bathroom and demanded money from her. A day after the girl’s death, hundreds of angry parents and guardians ransacked the 131- year- old school and forced principal Helen Sircar to resign. She was arrested and later released on bail. Sircar virtually accused the police and the mob of colluding during the vandalism.

“We came to meet the chief minister today... and based on what her office told us, we have complete faith in her that she will definitely do the needful... we believe that,” Abir Adhikari of the diocese said.

“We have demanded protection of minority institutions,” he said, adding that an inquiry committee and a monitoring committee instituted by the CNI were investigating the incident.

On the CNI’s directive, 700 institutions under the West Bengal Association of Christian Schools and the Association of Anglo-Indian Schools, and about 300 schools affiliated to the Indian Council for Secondary Education (ICSE) remained closed on Thursday.

Several teachers of schools under the ICSE Board did not hold routine classes and observed a prayer service in Oindrila’s memory and seminars on the teacher-student relationship.

Over a dozen people have been arrested so far for the vandalism that resulted in the loss of valuable documents, including those submitted by Class 10 and Class 12 students for their upcoming board exams.


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