Three boys, aged 14 years, drowned in a river while trying to flee from their school hostel in Virar near Mumbai. Their bodies were found on Wednesday morning on the banks of Sukh river. Preliminary forensic report suggested that the three students of Vagad Gurukul International School could have drowned as the river currents were strong.
Police officers, however, said the “motive” behind their running away from the hostel is under probe since their classmates have said that they were beaten by their Physical Training (PT) teacher on Monday and have hinted that it could be the reason behind the boys fleeing from the hostel.
The three have been identified as Meet Suresh Chadwa, a resident of Malad, Rahul Narayan Patel of Gorai in Borivali and Kushal Nilesh Dadha of Dombivali.
For now, the police have registered a case of accidental death. “The statement of the school management and the teachers have been recorded,” said S V Mane, from Virar police station.
During questioning, the classmates of the boys told police that everyone was beaten by their PT teacher. “If a boy scored 2 out of 20, he would be given 18 beating. The three boys had scored poor marks and also received the beating,” said a classmate of the deceased boys adding that they had seen the boys escaping, and had warned them against leaving the premises.
According to police, the school authorities had reported about the boys going missing on Monday night. “We informed their parents and the local police and started looking for the boys,” said Amrut Gada, managing trustee of the school. Police said the boys made their way out of the school premises through a hole in the hostel’s boundary wall. “The boys might have done this before as they knew the path through the river. We suspect that due to the rain on Monday night the current in the river was forceful, and the spot where the boys jumped could have been deeper than what they had expected,” said an officer from Thane crime branch.
Meet’s father Suresh Chadwa said they were informed by the school about his son going missing on Tuesday 12.30 am. “We went to Wada and Kelve beach but we could not find them. On Wednesday morning we received information about their bodies,” said Chadwa.
False cases play havoc with the crime statistics and tend to trivialise the offence of rape.