“Since I am a Dalit and was good at studies, they envied me. Before August 25, the two brothers had beaten me up on August 22 too,” said the class XII student seen being assaulted in a video now gone viral. He has since left Kendriya Vidyalaya Muzaffarpur and is with his grandfather at Muzaffarpur.
Principal Rajeev Ranjan was suspended Wednesday for “not informing senior authorities” about the incident. The principal wrote to the DM only last week after the video had gone viral. KV authorities have expelled the two brothers, who belong to upper caste Bhumihar and hail from Kathaiya in the district, following a report by a four-member KVS team. Following a complaint with SC/ST police by the boy’s grandfather’s, the alleged bullies have been taken into custody and sent to an observation home.
Twenty teachers have been transferred while at least eight students, who allegedly assisted the bullies and shot the video, have approached the authorities for transfer certificates, school sources said.
“I have adopted my grandson since class I,” said the boy’s maternal grandfather. “We initially advised him to avoid the bullies and did not go to police out of fear. Now that the video is public, we are speaking up.” The grandfather is a clerk with the postal department; the boy’s father is a teacher at a village school and also has two daughters.
The grandfather demanded police protection. “We want the government to ensure he can attend school and write his Class XII exams. We also want medical treatment,” said the grandfather.
The boy’s uncle said, “We are concerned about his health. He coughs blood at times. We need to see a good doctor to know if it is because of the beating.”
Asked if the boy hadn’t shown such complications in the first few days after the assault, the uncle said he did complain of some problems but they had been taking it lightly.
The Dalit boy and the two upper-caste brother, in classes XI and XII, had been good friends until recently. They fell out during a recent internal assessment examination when one of the accused had allegedly wanted the Dalit boy to help him. Following the assault, the boy in the video missed his Hindi and chemistry papers on August 25.
“Not helping the accused in the assessment examination was the trigger for their falling out,” said classmate, who added the brothers tried to dominate the class and no student “ wanted to complain against them.
The father of the brothers faces about a dozen criminal cases and is lodged in Muzaffarpur jail. He had been a jawan with BSF and his sons were admitted in KV under the category for defence personnel’s wards.
BJP Legislature Party leader and former deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi met the victim’s family Wednesday and assured all possible help.