A class 10 Dalit student, who had set himself on fire after being unable to write his board exams as he could not pay the amount allegedly demanded by his school principal to allow him to copy and cheat, died of burn injuries Monday.
Circle officer of Shikohabad in Firozabad district, Shyam Kant, said 17-year-old Akash, a resident of Katra Meera locality in Shikohabad police station area, poured kerosene on himself and set himself on fire in his house Sunday morning.
He ran out enveloped in flames before family members managed to douse the fire.
He, however, had sustained over 75 per cent burns and was rushed to the district hospital from where he was referred to the medical college in Agra and later to PGI in Etawah.
Shikohabad SHO Rajeev Yadav said Akash, the son of auto driver Praveen Kumar and Pushpa, who works as a housemaid, was depressed as he could not write his UP board exam on Saturday.
The boy’s relatives told the police that his school principal had allegedly demanded Rs 7,000 from each student appearing for the exam at his centre to be allowed to copy and cheat.
The SHO said Akash’s family told him they could manage to pay the principal only Rs 4,000, leading to an argument within the family.
Unable to cope, Akash took the extreme step, Kant said.
Firozabad district inspector of schools, Vidhi Narain, said he got an FIR lodged against the principal of the Ahabaran Singh Higher Secondary School, Vivek Yadav, for extortion, abetment of suicide and SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
Yadav is yet to be arrested.
Narain said Akash had written two papers but could not appear for the exam Saturday.
Out of the 114 candidates, 74 of them have declared serious criminal cases against them.