Headmaster of school that hosted Bajrang Dal’s arms training camp in Bengal alleges death threats
Sachindranath Singha, VHP leader in charge of West Bengal, Assam, Sikkim, the Andamans and Odisha, said the allegations are false.kolkata Updated: Apr 26, 2018 12:00 IST
The headmaster of the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP)-run school that hosted Bajrang Dal’s armed training camp in December last year has lodged a police complaint against several VHP workers, alleging that he is facing death threats for objecting to the camp without his permission.
The headmaster of Hindu Vidyalaya, Mohima Ranjan Mondal, also met education minister Partha Chatterjee on April 21 and submitted a complaint. Bajrang Dal is the youth wing of VHP.
Mondal’s claim was contested by VHP leader Sachindranath Singha, who looks after the organisation in West Bengal, Assam, Sikkim, Andaman and Odisha.
“Last November, the school management committee was replaced by Ashram Committee to look after the school. The Ashram Committee went ahead with the arms training camp during holiday, and did not bother to take my permission. Later I objected,” claimed Mondal. He has been the headmaster since 1988.
“It is because of the arms camp that fewer students enrolled in the session that started in January. Following my objection, they started heckling me,” he alleged.
“The members of the Ashram Committee who organised the arms training camp in the school have threatened to kill me. I appeal to you to take appropriate steps against them,” read a letter addressed to the officer-in-charge of Kultali police station. The four-page letter dated April 20 was written on the letterhead of the school.
The school is run by Manav Seva Pratisthan, an organisation affiliated to the VHP. It has more than 300 students, up to class 8, and 11 teachers.
VHP pays salary of the teachers and non-teaching staff. The school is located at Kultali, in the Sunderbans region of South 24-Parganas district, about 75 km from Kolkata.
“I don’t know why the headmaster is making such allegations. Nothing of that sort happened,” said senior VHP leader Sachindranath Singha. He also claimed that Mondal’s police complaint had nothing to do with the training camp.
“Earlier in the month, a woman teacher lodged a complaint of misbehavior against Mondal to the Ashram committee. The committee asked him to rectify himself. In response, he went to the police and lodged a complaint against the school management. The woman teacher did not initially want to go to police but after he lodged the complaint, she too lodged one,” Singha said.
“There is a complaint and a counter complaint. We are investigating both,” said Arijit Sinha, superintendent of police, Baruipur.
Police has also recorded the statement of the female teacher.
In December, HT reported how a batch of young Bajrang Dal activists were trained in various military-like skills, including crawling in trench, climbing tree, ropes and bamboo poles, playing swords and loading and unloading of guns. The report created a major political controversy in the state.
“Education minister Partha Chatterjee assured me that I need not worry,” said the headmaster.
First Published: Apr 26, 2018 12:00 IST