Neighbours of Priyanshi Singh, the Class 9 student who hanged herself on Wednesday evening, were witness to the scene created by her teachers at their house in street number 5 in Sewa Nagar, Ghaziabad, in the hours before her death. Priyanshi had killed herself after several teachers arrived from her old school, DSP School, had come to her house and demanded fee arrears of Rs11,000 that her father had been unable to pay for the past three months.
Police officials said that four of the six teachers were arrested on Thursday following an FIR for abetting suicide. They also said that the teachers’ molestation charges against her father were false.
“Teams have been sent to trace the other accused. The girl was depressed after the teachers hurled abuses at her and tried to implicate her father in a molestation case,” said Salmantaj Patil, superintendent of police (city).
Meanwhile, school owner Dinesh Kumar’s phone remained switched off on Thursday and the school remained closed.
At around 2 pm on Wednesday, Priyanshi had returned from her new school to find 10-11 teachers from DSP School waiting for her in the bylanes. According to neighbours, the family had shifted to a first-floor residence in the area around one and half months ago.
“Priyanshi, her two minor sisters, Krishna, 7, and Anushka, 10, and brother Sadaksh, 5, were at home with their father Ratan Singh Tomar. Some of the teachers started abusing the family from outside their house, demanding fees. Others went upstairs and the sounds of abuses grew louder. We heard teachers saying that Priyanshi’s father tried to molest them. The girl was saying that her father had only asked them to stay calm and take a chair to sit. She was even pleading with them not to call the police,” said Savita Kumar, a neighbour.
“The teachers used derogatory words for her and her relationship with her father. We all were shocked as the scene unfolded. Then, they called up police claiming that her father had tried to molest them,” Savita added.
Priyanshi’s younger sister Krishna said that the teachers, including the school principal Shashi, had slapped her father and even hit him with a slipper.
“Badi Madam (the principal) slapped my father and even told my sister to die if she could. Then they called up the police, who took him away in a jeep,” she said.
“After the police took my father, Priyanshi told all of us to go down and play. She was crying continuously and even tried to cut herself with a shaving blade. Then, she shut herself inside a room and even locked the windows. We came back up, but could not see anything as there was no electricity,” Anuksha added.
After the siblings started to cry, the neighbours went upstairs and found the door locked from inside. They called up the police who arrived and broke open the door to find Priyanshi hanging from the ceiling fan with a dupatta.
“When the police was taking Priyanshi’s father along, she came running down and held her father, but the police told her to go back. She returned crying and locked herself in the room where she took the drastic step,” said Balesh Rathor, another neighbour.
Her mother, Rani Singh, had gone to her in-laws’ house at Jalaun a week ago to arrange for the money. She returned on Thursday after she was told about the incident.