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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014

Ranjan Sharma suicide case: HC orders probe by crime branch

Vishal Joshi, Hindustan Times  Yamunanagar, August 18, 2013
First Published: 21:25 IST(18/8/2013) | Last Updated: 21:26 IST(18/8/2013)

Fighting a legal battle for more than one-and-a-half-years, a widow finally hopes to get justice in a case where her son was allegedly driven to commit suicide by the teachers and management of a local school.

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In an order passed on July 31, justice Daya Chaudhary of Punjab and Haryana high court directed the Haryana government to handover the suicide case of Ranjan Sharma to the State Crime Branch (SCB).

In the order, the judge instructed to complete the probe within six months adding that the matter should be probed by a senior crime branch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer.

Sharma (17), who was studying in Class 12 at National Public School here, had committed suicide by setting himself ablaze at his house in Kuldeep Nagar locality of the city on December 9, 2011.

A promising student, Ranjan, had taken the extreme step after he got hurt over the alleged humiliation meted out to his mother, Anita Sharma, and to him by the school management over a fine of Rs. 250.

He had left a suicide note, in which he had blamed the teachers and school management for harassing him over a petty issue.

Ranjan's mother, who is a teacher posted at a government school said: “I faced a tough time as the police officials posted in Yamunanagar district made every effort to give a clean chit to the accused, who had high connections.”

“The police chose to overlook the testimonies of three students, who were eyewitnesses to the humiliating behaviour of the school staff to Ranjan, and favoured closure of the case,” Sharma added.

Director of National Public School, Rajbir Pundir; principal Neelam Dhiman and teacher in charge Rakesh were named as the main accused in the case of abetment to suicide.

“Ranjan could not attend school for two days in the first week of December, 2011, owing to some health issues, and the school imposed a fine of Rs. 250 on him. After the penalty, the accused punished Ranjan and did not allow him to attend classes. He was even beaten up by teachers in the name of maintaining discipline in school,” the mother said, adding that on December 8, 2011, she got a telephone call from the school that Ranjan would be rusticated.

“As soon as I reached the school, the principal, teacher in charge and the management refused to meet me and I was asked by the staff to leave the premises at once. Later in the evening, Ranjan asked if his teachers humiliated me. In the morning he ended his life by setting himself on fire,” she lamented.

Ranjan's brother Rajan Sharma alleged that the school management had high political connections and that the corrupt police officials were shielding the accused from day one.

The family said that they had to approach the court against shoddy police investigation.

“It was only after we protested for 10 days that the police lodged the first information report (FIR). Not only this, they even claimed that no case of abetment to suicide can be made against the accused. But with the support of Ranjan's friends and other well wishers from the society, we continued our fight and will continue it further unless the guilty are punished for the untimely death of my brother,” Rajan said.

Matter with lokayukta as well
Alleging shoddy police investigation in the Ranjan Sharma suicide case, Anita Sharma, his mother also approached the lokayukta. In an order passed on July 9, the lokayukta had asked the director general of police SN Vashisht to submit a report within 45 days.

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