The principal of Christ Church School in Nagerbazar on the northern fringe of Kolkata was arrested on Thursday on the non-bailable charge of abetting the suicide of a 10-year-old girl student who died on Wednesday after prolonged ragging by seniors at school.
Class 5 student Oindrilla Das’s family members alleged that she had died as a result of shock and trauma after being locked in a school toilet for refusing to give her seniors the Rs 100 they had been demanding for the past few months.
Earlier in the day, hundreds of enraged parents gheraoed principal Helen Sarkar for six hours from 10am to 4pm, demanding her arrest and going on a rampage in the school premises. A big police force soon reached the school and cordoned off the principal’s office.
As matters refused to calm down, a combat force of the police was called to control the situation but it had little effect on the furious parents.
“Here we are aggrieved at the death of a child due to continued torture to which school authorities turned a blind eye over the months. We are protesting here to seek justice and the government sends in the police to beat us up,” a protestor said.
Moments later, the principal emerged from her office and went to the terrace and requested the protestors to calm down. “I apologise for the incident. We will probe the incident and the guilty will be punished. Please stay calm,” she said.
By the evening, however, Sarkar was taken into custody.
On Wednesday, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee had called up Oindrilla’s mother to assure her that the state government would enquire into the incident and deliver quick justice.