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HindustanTimes Thu,23 Oct 2014

Principal braves odds, stands by rape victim

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Kolkata, June 24, 2013
First Published: 08:49 IST(24/6/2013) | Last Updated: 08:52 IST(24/6/2013)

Pradip Mukherjee, a middle-aged school teacher who has been serving as the principal of the school the Kamduni rape-murder victim attended, is undaunted even after receiving a show-cause notice from the North 24-Parganas Primary Education Council for participating in a protest rally at Kamduni on June 13.

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“I had known the 20-year-old since she was a student in our school. As teachers, we are expected to be the backbone of society. If we do not stand up against wrongdoing, who will?” said the principal.

Days after Kamduni women, including Tumpa and Usha Koyal, were branded as Maoists and CPI(M) supporters by chief minister Mamata Banerjee, when they dared to shout at her, the council issued the notice to Mukherjee for taking his school students to a rally organised by the villagers against the brutal incident. Even though the letter says the rally was organised on June 12, and during the school hours, Mukherjee rubbished the claim, saying, “The rally was held on June 13, and I took my students to the rally only after school hours. The law prevents them from attending rallies during school hours, and not after that. I also have some knowledge of the law.”

Similarly, as the Kamduni women garnered large-scale support from their fellow villagers and the whole state as well, Mukherjee’s wife and daughter also supported him.

“Those who have issued the show-cause notice do not even have an idea of the whole incident, and why the rally was organised. My father did the right thing, but like all the other villagers of Kamduni, people are trying to suppress his voice as well,” said Mukherjee’s daughter, who is a school student.

Echoing her daughter’s views, her mother added, “The show-cause is nothing but an insult to a noble cause.”


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