Class 11 boy found dead in Mohali school hostel

Case of causing death by negligence registered on father’s plaint though no one has been named; preliminary probe points to suicide
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Published on Mar 12, 2020 12:19 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | By HT Correspondent

The management of the government school for meritorious students in Sector 70, Mohali, has been booked for negligence after a 16-year-old student was found dead in the hostel in mysterious circumstances, police said on Wednesday.

The incident took place on Monday evening.

“There were injury marks on the victim’s neck and chin,” said Mataur station house officer Rajiv Kumar, adding that the postmortem report is awaited. However, preliminary report mentioned asphyxia (choking, which can be caused by either hanging or strangulation) as the cause of death.

The boy belonged to Morinda, 25km from here, and was a Class 11 medical stream student. He was staying in the hostel on the school premises. He is survived by his parents and a younger brother.

‘Was being harassed by another student’

The boy had scored 92% in the Class 10 board examinations, after which he had cleared the entrance test of the meritorious schools and was admitted to the Mohali institute six months back. The school is among 10 such residential institutes set up across Punjab in 2014 to provide quality and subsidised education in Classes 11 and 12 to poor and meritorious students who secure more than 80% marks in matriculation, with an aim to help them clear entrance examinations of professional colleges in India.

The boy had allegedly complained to his family that a student was troubling him and had even beaten him up. The family had last talked to him on Sunday. Meanwhile, the school principal and hostel warden have claimed they had no idea about the child being troubled and beaten up by another student.

A case has been registered against the school management under Section 304A (causing death due to negligence) of the Indian Penal Code.

Rushed to medical store on two-wheeler

Students who were first to raise the alarm reportedly saw the victim hanging from the shower in the bathroom, with his knees touching the floor, around 7:30pm on Monday.

“We have registered a case on the complaint of the victim’s father and action will be taken against whosoever is found negligent. However, preliminary investigations indicate it was suicide,” said Harvinder Singh Virk, superintendent of police, Mohali.

The hostel food supervisor along with a security guard took the boy on a two-wheeler to a nearby medical store, where its owner told them to take him to hospital. It is not clear whether the boy was unconscious or had died by then.

The food supervisor brought the child back to school, and then he was taken to the civil hospital in Phase 6 in a cab. Doctors declared him brought dead.

Being a residential school, there are three nurses on duty in shifts throughout the day. However, one had left at 4pm and the next one on duty did not report to work.

Warden Sushil Kumar, who retired as an inspector from Chandigarh Police, said he was present in the hostel, but was busy arranging a vehicle to take the child to hospital when the food supervisor took him to the medical store. The principal had gone to attend Holika Dahan in a neighbouring temple.

“It is unfortunate, but I cannot say anything as the matter is under investigation. We have handed over CCTV footage to police,” said school principal Ritu Sharma.

“As far as I know, the child was taken to hospital in a private vehicle,” she said, refusing to give any further detail.

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