Confinement of students: Guv seeks reply from principal secy

  • Harinder Singh Khaira, Hindustan Times, Patiala
  • Updated: May 13, 2016 16:48 IST
File photo of a woman and daughter crying after coming out of the library on April 12. (Bharat Bhushan/HT Photo)

Taking cognisance of the complaint made by the Budha Dal School Parents’ Association regarding the alleged confinement of students inside the school library on April 12, Punjab governor Kaptan Singh Solanki has sought a reply regarding the incident from the authorities concerned.

Patiala school ‘confines’ students, 3 land in hospital as fee row turns ugly

The parents’ association had raised the issue of fee hike and had moved court against the capitation fee being charged by the school. They also staged various protests against the school, due to which the school management targeted the students whose family members were involved in those protests and on the ‘fateful’ day, the school authorities allegedly confined some students inside the school library.

Following the directions from the governor office, the principal secretary (education), Punjab, further marked the letter to the local administration and advised them to take necessary action after conducting the detailed inquiry. The principal secretary also directed the officials to submit the inquiry report within 10 days of receiving the letter.

The letter written to the principal secretary on April 29, states that the parents’ association of Budha Dal Public School had submitted a request to the governor for taking action against the school for that incident.

An official from the governors’ office, in the letter, stated that it was asked to him to write it to the principal secretary (education) about the appropriate action to be taken in this regard and submit the reply to the governor’s office and the parents’ association.

The local administration, on the directions of principal secretary, had formed a four-member committee headed by circle education officer (CEO) Nabha Harpal Kaur to inquire into the matter. The other members included Sangrur DEO (secondary) Sandeep Nagar, Fatehgarh Sahib deputy DEO Parveen Kumar and Tota Singh, principal, Government Multipurpose School, Patiala.

Meanwhile, the inquiry committee on Thursday visited the Budha Dal Public School to inquire into the matter and also met the parents at Government Senior Secondary School, Pheelkhana, Patiala. The team recorded the statements of parents and students and also watched the video recordings of the incident.

Parents submit clippings of HT

As evidence of the incident, the parents also handed over the clippings of Hindustan Times newspaper. The parents also informed the committee that mediapersons from newspapers were also present with them when they released the students from the library.

Lackadaisical attitude of police

Even after around a month of the incident, the police were still struggling to make out if any offence was committed by the school authorities.

Initially, the complaint was filed by the mother of a student at 181 helpline number, following which the local police filed a report with a clean chit to the school. But when HT highlighted the issue, the police again initiated the investigation into the matter. JS Sodhi, advisor of the parents’ association, informed that they had received a call from the SSP office on Thursday and the caller asked them to appear before the SSP on Friday. “As the hearing in the court is scheduled on May 13, we will not be able to meet the SSP,” said Sodhi.

The incident

The row over the capitation fee between parents and Budha Dal Public School management turned ugly on April 12 after the school authorities allegedly confined 40 students of various classes in the library. Three of them landed in Rajindra Government Hospital due to uneasiness and depression after the incident.

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