The Kolkata Police have booked the principal and four teachers of the elite La Martiniere School for Boys for abetting the suicide of a 13-year-old student in February.
They have been booked under Section 305 of the IPC, which carries a maximum sentence of death for abetting the suicide of a child or an insane person. The FIR against the five was registered on Monday, nearly four months after class VIII student Rouvanjit Rawla hung himself at home.
“My son was a victim of constant torture at school,” said Ajay Rawla, who alleged that his son killed himself following physical and mental torture by the principal and teachers.
Police officers said this was the first time the principal and teachers of a school in Kolkata have been charged with abetment of a student’s suicide.
Principal Sunirmal Chakravarti and chairman of the school, Bishop Ashok Biswas, couldn’t be contacted as their mobile phones were switched off.
A police team led by investigating officer Aloke Sarkar spent hours at the Rawlas’ residence in Behala on the southern fringes of Kolkata. They spoke to Ajay Rawla and Rouvanjit’s classmates throughout the evening to gather preliminary evidence.
“Rouvanjit’s friends in the social networking site Facebook were discussing among themselves how he was tortured. We questioned them too and found initial support for the allegation,” Sarkar said.
A two-member probe committee of the National Commission For Protection of Child Rights visited the school on Wednesday and spoke to the principal, vice-principal, teachers, board members and classmates of Rouvanjit.
West Bengal school education minister Partha De too directed a departmental inquiry.
La Martiniere’s glory was recently sullied by a teacher who was arrested in May for allegedly demanding a laptop computer from a student.