Probe panels on Akkriti death; Renuka for strict action
Amid outrage and massive protests by parents and students over the death of an asthmatic girl, authorities have scrambled to set up separate panels to probe into the incident which has brought into focus the dearth of medical facilities in schools in the city.
Women and Child Development Minister Renuka Chowdhry has dubbed the death of Akkriti Bhatia, a class XII student of Modern School in Vasant Vihar, as a "systemic" failure and demanded action against those responsible for the incident.
"There has to be heads rolling where this incident has happened. There has to be an independent investigation into the incident," she told reporters in New Delhi.
"I have been saying that we need to examine this. It is not about one individual or one school principal. We have to look at this as a systemic failure at several levels, several things did not work where they should have perhaps," she said.
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) and the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) too have sought a report about the incident from the Delhi government within a week.
"This is a much deplorable incident and we have asked the Delhi government to submit a report within seven days," NCPCR member Sandhya Bajaj said.
The DCPCR has set up its own 10-member probe panel.
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit assured strong action in the matter once the probe is completed.
Education Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely, who met the anguished parents of the deceased girl, has ordered a probe.
Delhi Education Secretary Reena Ray said the probe panel was looking into all aspects of the incident including whether there was "any laxity" on the part of school administration.
Rocked by protests, the Modern School, Vasant Vihar has announced that it will remain closed on Friday and Saturday.
The management had a tough time as they faced protests by angry parents and students who alleged "negligence" on the part of school authorities leading to the death of the girl who suffered an asthma attack at school on Monday.
While sticking to their stand that they did their best to help the girl, Managing Trustee of the school, Ashok Pratap Singh said the institution will remain close for two days due to the protests.
He also said the school management has decided to set up a committee comprising eminent academicians and noted personalities to look into the allegations of negligence.
Friends and relatives of Akkriti took out a candle-light march here this evening demanding justice for the family.
Holding placards 'Justice for Akkriti' and candles in their hands, around 200 friends, relatives and parents took out the march from the girl's residence in Siri Fort locality.
The protestors were demanding the resignation of Modern School Principal Goldie Malhotra and immediate registration of a case in connection with the death of Akkriti.
On Thursday, parents and students gheraoed the principal and shouted slogans, blaming her for the death.