A 12-year-old boy allegedly jumped to his death from the terrace of his school in Kalamboli on Friday.
The CCTV footage of the St Joseph’s High School and Junior College showed Vighnesh Salunke, a Class 7 student, climbing the stairs to the sixth floor around 6.52am. With his bag still on his back, he suddenly started to run and even looked back once.
The footage then shows the boy jumping a wall to enter the terrace. As there are no cameras on the terrace, there is no footage of him jumping down.
Vighnesh was taken to a hospital, where he was declared dead.
Vighnesh Salunke was a bright student and wanted to become a doctor — his mind firmly made up after his maternal grandfather died of cancer on June 30.
Vighnesh’s father Satish, who works as a police constable at the Naigaon police headquarters, said the child was neither depressed nor were there any family problems. “We returned from Satara after performing his grandfather’s last rites on Wednesday. He went to school the next day. On Friday morning, he told me he would ask his teachers to brief him about what he had missed. Does that sound like someone who had problems?” he said.
After an injured Vighnesh was discovered by the staff, he was taken to Singh City hospital and then shifted to MGM hospital in Kamothe. However, the doctors declared him dead.
“I received a call around 7.10am from the school and they told me Vighnesh fell after he felt dizzy. It was only after reaching the school I realised what had happened,” said Satish.
The footage, Satish believes, is the key to finding out what exactly happened to his son. “He looked behind while running to the terrace. It proves that someone was following him and he jumped to save himself,” he said. “The school authorities need to show the CCTV footage of the other floors as well. I am sure they have deleted it,” he alleged.
The school authorities claimed that the door the child had used to enter the terrace was a fire exit. “It was opened to check the water supply in the building,” said a staff member.
According to the school staff, Vighnesh had arrived early, as the school assembly is held at 7am. “The boy jumped from the terrace even before the teachers went to their classrooms,” said KC George, administrator of the school.
Principal Meera Kunte agreed that boy was behaving normally. “We have given all the details to the police. We will not be able to say anything,” said Kunte.
Claiming that he will approach the police, Satish said, “On Friday, he was in rush. He just drank a glass of milk standing near the door and then ran away. Does a depressed child behave like that? The school does not allow even a tiffin box from outside during school hours. They will have to take responsibility when a student dies in their premises,” he said.
Vishwash Pandhare, deputy commissioner of police, zone 2, said they were treating the incident as a suicide case. “However, we don’t know the reason behind it. We have not been able to take the family’s statements properly, as they are still in shock.”