The principal of the Welham Boys School, one of India’s most prestigious educational institutes, has stepped down. The sudden decision has left the school fraternity baffled.
With no official announcement from the management, teachers at the school’s sprawling Curzon Road campus feel that Dev Lahiri, 60, resigned as he was “nearing retirement age”. The retirement age for principals is 62.
“Lahiri felt he has had a long career as principal of the school. He also cited medical reasons for resignation,” said a teacher at the school, on condition of anonymity. Lahiri is a heart patient and has earlier undergone a cardiac surgery.
Lahiri, a Rhodes scholar, had a brush with controversy in 2008 when a court in Ooty, Tamil Nadu, summoned him in connection with two cases pertaining to Wildlife Act and Arms Act. The cases were registered against him when he was headmaster of Lawrence School, Lovedale, from 1991 to 2000.
When he did not appear before the court, a non-bailable warrant was issued against him and the Tamil Nadu police had even come to Dehradun. Lahiri later clarified that he was not able to appear because his lawyer in Ooty had been trying to arrange a date for hearing of both cases together.
When HT tried to contact Lahiri on his mobile phone, a woman answered the calls and refused to comment.
School vice-principal MS Kandpal was also not available for comment.