Girls’ hostel staff dies of burns,kin say foul play

A superintendent of a girls’ hostel in Midnapore today died after being allegedly set on fire.

Written by Express News Service | Kolkata | Published: March 26, 2009 2:49 am

A superintendent of a girls’ hostel in Midnapore today died after being allegedly set on fire. Archana Rana Giri (26) had joined Dashakgram KB Balika Vidyalaya in West Midnapore as a superintendent around six months ago on a salary of Rs 800.

However,upon joining the hostel,police sources said,she had been mentally harassed by two teachers — headmistress Bhupali Maiti and another teacher Kajal Das Adhikary. Police said Giri had protested against Maiti’s use of rice meant for mid-day meal for hostel residents for other purposes as also against other irregularities.

On Tuesday night,there was a governing body meeting from 5 pm to 9 pm in which all three were present. After the meeting,Giri went back to her room. But at 11 pm,the girls in the hostel saw she was on fire. She was taken to Midnapore Medical College and admitted there at 5 am. She died at 5.30 am.

Her family members claimed that Maiti and Adhikary had allegedly doused her with kerosene and set her on fire. Meanwhile,activists of a local NGO turned up at the hostel later in the day to protest against the death. An inquiry has been ordered.

Sadhan Pathak,Officer Commanding (Sabong),West Midnapore,said: “So far,no case has been registered against anybody. We went there as we heard of a possible suicide attempt but preliminary investigation has revealed it may be a case of accidental fire.” 

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