'Guilty' of bed-wetting, 10-year-old Punita Mistri was 'taught a lesson' at Visva-Bharati – the institution founded by Rabindranath Tagore to break new grounds in education. Her hostel warden, the child said, forced her to drink her own urine, with salt added.
The girl's family lodged a complaint with the Bolpur police in the early hours of Sunday, but the warden of Karabi Hostel, Uma Poddar, had made off for Kolkata much earlier.
The Class-5 student of Patha-Bhavan was made to go through the ordeal on Saturday. In the evening, when her mother phoned, the child broke down.
"My daughter said the warden squeezed the wet blanket, collected the urine and after adding salt, forced her to drink it," said Punam Mistri.
Around 11.30 pm, Punita's father Monoj Mistri – a resident of Bolpur's Makrampur area —reached Karabi hostel to take away his daughter. "I did not want to keep her there for another night," Mistri told HT.
The authorities, however, were not too willing to let Punita go. Registrar Mani Mukut Mitra later said the parents should have lodged a complaint in a proper manner. "The way they entered a girls' hostel at night was trespassing," he said.
Around 12.30 am, Punita's parents lodged a complaint with the police, who are yet to take any action.
Poddar, who was available on phone till midnight, had refused to speak to the media. Her phone was switched off thereafter and she is yet to be traced.
Visva-Bharati spokesperson Dr Amrit Sen said a four-member probe committee has been set up. "A section of the administration is trying to guard the warden," said an alumni.