A six-year-old student of a private school in south Delhi was found dead in a water storage tank on campus on Saturday, following which the Delhi Police and AAP government initiated separate investigations against the school.
Police said Divyansh Kakroda, a student of Class 1 at Ryan International School in Vasant Kunj, went missing from his classroom around noon, following which school authorities started searching for him. More than two hours later, his body was found floating in the 12-foot-deep water tank located in a room below the amphitheatre. The boy was rushed to the Indian Spinal Injury Centre where he was declared brought dead.
A case of causing death due to negligence was registered at the Vasant Kunj (north) police station. Senior officers said the school failed to inform the police after finding the child’s body and it was the hospital that alerted them. “The child was brought dead to the emergency room in the afternoon. There were no external injuries and the cause of death was drowning,” hospital authorities said.
The school, however, said it followed proper procedure and gave the child necessary first-aid before taking him to the hospital. “The child had attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and ran out of the class. Once we came to know he was missing, we searched everywhere. In the end, we went to the rear of the school and found him inside the tank,” said principal Sandhya Sabu.
“We will have to find out how he managed to enter the space. The room is generally closed and guarded,” she said.
The school was open on Saturday to compensate for the 15-day break declared during the odd-even trial run.
The child’s parents — both lab technicians at the All India Institute of Medical Science — said their son did not suffer from any deficiency.
“Due to the school’s negligence, my child is dead and now they are trying to divert attention and say he had some disorder,” said Ramhet Meena, the boy’s father.
The Delhi government ordered a magisterial probe into the incident following which district magistrate Sanjay Kumar visited the school. “Ordered DM New Delhi to probe in Ryan child death case. To find facts, responsibility & ascertain exact role of school mgmt (Sic),” deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia tweeted.
AAP MLA from Bijwasan, Devinder Sehrawat, wrote to Sisodia, calling for the cancellation of the school’s licence and the sealing of its swimming pool, which he alleged, was illegally using the Delhi Jal Board’s drinking water supply.
Senior police officers said their investigation will focus on how the child managed to enter the room and why the tank was uncovered. “The matter was brought to our notice around 2.40pm. The child was pronounced dead on admission at the Indian Spinal Injuries Centre. We have been told that the child went missing during the seventh period,” said Prem Nath, deputy commissioner of police (south).
The child’s body was later sent to AIIMS for autopsy.