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Gurgaon: Residents accuse district admin of turning a blind eye to safety in private schools

Residents claimed the district administration did conduct timely safety and security drills at schools

gurgaon Updated: Sep 11, 2017 21:46 IST
Dhananjay Jha
Dhananjay Jha
Hindustan Times
Ryan School,Gurgaon,Gurugram
Police lathicharge parents during a protest outside Ryan International School in Bhondsi.(Parveen Kumar/HT FILE)

The murder of an eight-year-old student at Ryan International School has exposed lapses on the part of the district administration. It has been accused of turning a blind eye to private schools, especially with regard to conducting routine safety and security drills.

City residents have voiced their angst and worry over the safekeeping of their wards in the light of the Ryan tragedy. With the incident sending shockwaves across the country and drawing condemnation from all sections, the police sent a security checklist to all private schools on Sunday.

Hindustan Times spoke to officials of a few private schools and none confirmed routine drill by the police or local administration. The parents said their children, too, never spoke about such drills happening in Gurgaon schools.

“The district administration cannot shy away from its responsibility of sending the district education officer (DEO), beat constable and fire safety team to visit schools on a monthly or quarterly basis to interact with the management about unusual behavior of non-teaching staff such as bus drivers, conductors and peon, among others. Had this been the case, I believe that an incident such as the one at Ryan International School would never have taken place. We have decided to write to Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar in this regard. The administration cannot shirk its responsibility,” Dharam Sagar, president, federation of residents’ welfare association of urban estates (Forwa), said, adding that while the association condemns the killing of the 8-year-old, even the administration ought to own up to its lapses.

Ruchika Sethi, a resident Nirvana Country, Sector 50, said, “The Haryana government should hold all irresponsible officials to account as well. The incident is an eye-opener in terms of lapses on the part of school and the district administration.”

While the accused has already confessed to have killed the eight-year-old student, glaring security lapses have come to the fore. The police are probing how the accused carried a knife to school, use washrooms and are also looking into his antecedents.

Read I Ryan International School murder: Police say evidence ‘tampered’ with

“Safety and security of students is our responsibility. We closely track the activities of students, teachers and other none-teaching staff. We have received a security checklist from the police on Sunday and we will abide by it. We believe every section of the society is responsible for the safety and security of students that includes administration, police and parents, besides schools,” Rashmi Malik, principal of Salwan Public School, said.

Despite several calls and messages, sub-divisional magistrate Bharat Bhushan Gogia and deputy commissioner (DC) Vinay Pratap Singh could not be reached for comments on how many times the DEO and beat constable have visited private schools for routine security drills over the last eight months.

First Published: Sep 11, 2017 21:46 IST