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Class 8 student found hanging in Bengal school hostel, locals set building on fire

Local people ransacked the hostel and set it on fire after the body of the class 8 student was found. The boy’s family alleged before the police that he was murdered.

kolkata Updated: Apr 21, 2018 19:17 IST
Koushik Dutta
Koushik Dutta
Hindustan Times
East Midnapore,West Bengal,Srirampur Agricultural High Schoo
The body of Sariful Gaji, 14, was found in the toilet of the hostel at Srirampur Agricultural High School on Friday night. (Representative Image)

The unnatural death of a 14-year-old male student inside the hostel of an agricultural school triggered public outrage in the Srirampur area of Tamluk town in Bengal’s East Midnapore district on Friday night.

The boy, a resident of the Katiahar area in the North 24 Parganas district, got his admission to the school around three months ago.

Local people ransacked the hostel and set it on fire after the body of Sariful Gaji, a class 8 student, was found hanging inside the toilet. The boy’s family alleged before the police that he was murdered. Police registered a case of unnatural death and started an investigation.

Srirampur Agricultural High School began its journey as a primary school in 1890. Down the years, it was upgraded gradually and in 1964, it became a higher secondary (class 12) school. It has more than 1,750 students.

Read: IIT-Delhi student found hanging in hostel room, blames sexual assault in note

The school authorities told police that Sariful committed suicide but the boy’s family refused to believe this and alleged that he was murdered and the body was hanged to make it look like suicide. In its complaint, the family however did not name anybody as suspect.

“Sariful was always very calm and quiet. He could not have committed suicide. We suspect he was murdered. The hostel authorities failed to give keep our child safe,” Rijia Bibi, Sariful’s aunt, alleged.

“We have started an investigation. Nothing more can be said at this point,” said V Solomon Nesakumar, superintendent of police, East Midnapore.

“The cause of death can be ascertained only after we match our findings with the forensic report,” said an officer who is not authorised to brief the media. The body has been sent for post mortem examination.

Read: Medical aspirant from Lucknow commits suicide in Kota

On Friday afternoon, Sariful went for a walk, the boarders told the police. They said they could not find him when supper was served around 8 pm. During a search, the body was found inside the toilet.

When local people came to know of the incident, they stormed inside the hostel and started ransacking it. Subsequently they set the building on fire, alleging that students were not safe there. Police brought the situation under control.

A police picket has been posted in the area in view of the tension. The hostel had 40 boarders. After the arson, the students were shifted to a facility run by Nimtouri Tamluk Unnayan Samity, a local welfare organisation.

First Published: Apr 21, 2018 18:51 IST