Schoolchildren shot at during Agra tour
A bunch of drunk, armed criminals misbehaved with the girl students at a cinema theatre, then chased their schoolbus on a bike after the movie and fired randomly at it. Darpan Singh and Sanjeev K Ahuja report.india Updated: Oct 25, 2008 00:54 IST
An excursion to Agra turned as scary as it could get for a group of students — boys and girls — from a Haryana school late on Thursday, leaving many of them shocked and in tears.
A bunch of drunk, armed criminals misbehaved with the girl students at a cinema theatre, then chased their schoolbus on a bike after the movie and fired randomly at it. A bullet grazed past the driver’s head, police said.
The criminals left only after seeing the driver bleeding profusely, they said, adding that no student was injured. The nightmare took place on the busy Agra-Delhi highway.
Forty-seven students, including 15 girls, of New Happy Child Senior Secondary School in Khor village, Pataudi, about 70 km from Delhi, started on a trip to Rajasthan and Agra three days ago. They were accompanied by three teachers.
After a visit to the Taj, the students were taken to a movie theatre located on the Agra-Mathura bypass for a night show.
Police said trouble started when five men started passing lewd comments and misbehaved with some of the girls.
“They were sitting behind us in the theatre and misbehaving. When the teachers protested, they left the theatre,” said Lalit Kumar, a Class XII student.
“They reappeared after the movie show and attacked our bus.”
Saroj Dhakrana, a teacher, said, “They tried to enter the bus. When they failed, three of them chased the bus on a
motorcycle and opened fire. They then overtook our bus, stood on the road some distance away and fired a volley of bullets at us.”
It was a narrow escape for the students. The driver, Naresh Singh of Rewari, somehow managed to control the bus and stop it despite a bullet injury.
A police team, which reached the spot after being alerted, took the driver to the hospital — and put up scared students at a hotel. The schoolbus left for Khor on Friday.
Nirmala Devi Thakran, whose two daughters were among the students, said she would ask the school why the children were taken for a night show.
Senior Superintendent of Police, Agra, Prem Prakash said raids were being conducted to nab the criminals.
Two people had been detained.