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Thursday, Sep 19, 2019

‘He saw something wrong’, says child panel chief about death of boy in Dehradun hostel

The incident happened on March 10 and the school authorities buried the Class 7 student inside the school campus on March 11 after his father said he will not be able to take his son’s body home.

dehradun Updated: Mar 30, 2019 17:36 IST
Kalyan Das
Kalyan Das
Hindustan Times, Dehradun
Police said the boy was battered to death by two of his seniors after he allegedly stole a packet of biscuits from a shop.
Police said the boy was battered to death by two of his seniors after he allegedly stole a packet of biscuits from a shop.(AFP / Photo used for representational purpose)
         

Chairperson of the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCR) Usha Negi said on Friday that the 12-year-old boy of a boarding school in Ranipokhri area of Dehradun was killed not over an alleged theft of biscuits but because “he saw something in the school which he shouldn’t have.”

Police have said the student was battered to death by two of his seniors after he allegedly stole a packet of biscuits from a shop.

“It seems that the heinous crime involved more than just an alleged theft of biscuit. It seems that he saw something wrong, which could be an article or any act in the school, due to which he was killed in the school. Nobody would beat anyone so brutally for just over a packet of biscuits,” Negi claimed while speaking over the phone.

Negi had intervened in the case after being informed by some locals about the burial of the boy on the school campus in Ranipokhri. She visited the school premises on Thursday and spoke to the children. “They were living in deplorable conditions,” she said.

Negi alleged that the school was “promoting a particular religion” by teaching related study material to the children. “After visiting the school, I brought some textbooks being taught to students, which point to that,” she said.

“If required, SCPCR will provide free legal assistance to the father (of the victim) in the case,” Negi said. “A CBI inquiry should be done in the case for which we have written to the chief minister on Friday,” she added. “Senior officials of the school are also involved in the incident but so far they are away from the police dragnet.”

The incident happened on March 10 and the school authorities buried the Class 7 student inside the school campus on March 11 after his father said he will not be able to take his son’s body home.

Police arrested the two Class 12 students and three school staff on Tuesday after the boy’s post-mortem examination revealed on March 23 that he died of internal injuries due to physical assault. The five accused were sent to jail on Wednesday.

Police refute claims

Police refuted Negi’s claims, saying no clues have been found during investigations which could support them.

“Nothing has been found which could make her claims concrete. So far it was found in the investigations that the boy was killed by the two senior students out of rage as the school management had prohibited the students from going out following a complaint from a shopkeeper over theft of a packet of biscuits,” said PD Bhatt, investigation officer and station house officer, Ranipokhri. “Police are questioning other school staffers in the case and investigations are on.”

Asked about action against the school after the crime, chief education officer Asha Painuli said, “In our investigation we found that the incident has taken place at a children’s hostel which is run by a society. Since it has not taken place on the school premises, we cannot take any action in the matter.”

‘School didn’t inform my daughters’

The boy’s father, who lives in a shelter home for leprosy patients in Meerut, said the school management tried to hide truth as they even didn’t inform his two daughters studying in the same school.

“Not only they didn’t inform my two daughters about my son’s death, they also stopped me from meeting them on March 11. When I insisted and cried, they finally allowed me to meet them. I now want to withdraw them (daughters) from the school after their examinations,” he told over the phone “Killing of my son over an alleged theft of a biscuit packet was unjustifiable. Even if he had done that, the school should have informed me. I would have withdrawn him from school. Instead they killed him in a brutal manner.”

The school manager could not be contacted despite several attempts.

First Published: Mar 30, 2019 17:36 IST