Students’ detention row: Inquiry team gives school clean chit | punjab$patiala | Hindustan Times
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Students’ detention row: Inquiry team gives school clean chit

punjab Updated: Apr 22, 2016 20:11 IST
Harinder Singh Khaira
Harinder Singh Khaira
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Parents showing the high court’s order while protesting outside Budha Dal Public School in Patiala on Monday. (Bharat Bhushan/HT)

The inquiry report into the alleged detention of students inside the library at Budha Dal Public School here has given a clean chit to the school.

Deputy commissioner Ramvir Singh on Monday confirmed that he had received the report from the five-member team. He said the team had recorded statements of students who were inside the library at the time of the alleged incident besides some parents. “Nobody claimed that the children were detained in the library,” said the deputy commissioner (DC), adding that the report is being sent to the district attorney for legal advice before any further action.

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The DC said one of the students, Khemank, who is a diabetic, has mentioned in his statement that he was allowed to drink water, but stopped from having food. Moreover, the report states that children who had paid the fee were also inside the library at the time of the alleged detention, he said.

District education officer (DEO, secondary) Harinder Kaur, who headed the inquiry team, said besides recording statements of students at the school, they also recovered the closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera footage of the library.

Other members of the team were DEO (primary) Bahadur Singh, Right to Education district resource person Davinder Singh, Sarv Siksha Abhiyan coordinator Rajeev Gupta and Rajpura school principal Rajnish Gupta.

Parents call probe biased

Accusing the district authorities of conducting a biased probe, the parents’ association claimed that the inquiry team did not approach any of its members. The parents also alleged that when the team was recording statements of the students, staff members were present inside the room and passed comments that put their wards under pressure.

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“If the inquiry team and school management could call other parents to record their statements, why couldn’t they call members of our association?” questioned association president Kaka Singh. He urged the administration to release the CCTV footage of the inquiry.

The case

On April 12, the school authorities allegedly separated some students, whose parents had submitted a petition in the high court against capitation fee being levied by the school, and detained them inside the library. After the parents came to know about the incident, they barged into the school around 11am. Both the parents’ association and school authorities approached the police and district administration seeking relief in the case and registration of a criminal case against the other party.

Petitioner parents fear late fee charges

The parents’ association on Monday staged a protest in front of the Budha Dal Public School, accusing its management of refusing to accept the tuition fee.

Association adviser JS Sodhi said the Punjab and Haryana high court has ordered that till the case is pending with the court, the petitioner parents can submit the tuition fee without any other charges.

“When we reached the school to get the fee challan required to pay the fee in bank, the school authorities asked us not to pay any fee till the next hearing on April 25,” he said.

Sodhi said the last date for submitting fee is April 20, and they don’t want to pay any late fee charges. The parents also met the DC, asking him to intervene.

DEO Harinder Kaur, however, said the school authorities have assured the department that they would not charge any late fee fine from the petitioners.

‘Waiting for hearing, won’t fine students’

Principal Amrit Aujla said the school management is waiting for the court orders, as the hearing in the case is on April 25. “No late fee charges will be levied. Also, parents will be given some more days to deposit the fee after the hearing,” she said.