The district panchayat education officer of Mandvi taluka in Surat transferred a school teacher and instituted an inquiry against the principal of a school after an 8-year-old girl was locked inside the classroom after school hours on Wednesday evening until villagers rescued her.
Gunjan Chaudhary (8), a resident of Pipalvada village in Mandvi taluka, went to her village school, which is run by Surat district panchayat, on Wednesday morning. As it was the last day of the month, the school was closed a little earlier than usual. It generally closes at 5.10 pm, but on Wednesday, it was closed around 4 pm. The school staff consists of principal Anu Chaudhary and teacher Arvind Chaudhary. The teacher left the school early with the students after informing the principal, who left school after 5.30. Gunjan’s parents waited until 5.30 pm for their daughter to arrive but when she did not turn up, they panicked and began searching for her. When they spoke to some of her classmates, they learnt that the school had shut at 4 pm.
Gunjan’s parents, Amit and Chandu, reached the school and found the main door locked. They called all villagers and informed them about the incident. The village youths climbed up on the compound wall of the school and reached the classroom. They found Gunjan crying in her classroom. Arjun Chaudhary, a village leader, called up Taluka Primary Officer Kamlesh Almora and informed him about the incident at 6 pm. When the villagers tried contacting the principal, she was not reachable. Almora contacted the teacher and inquired about the school keys.
He told him to come to the school as one of the students had been locked inside the classroom. The teacher, Arvind, told Arjun that the school keys were with a neighbouring house. The villagers rescued the girl, but demanded strict action against both the teachers for their carelessness.
Talking to The Indian Express, Almora said, “We have transferred Arvind Chaudhary from the village school to a neighbouring school. We have also set up an inquiry against the principal of the school who was the last one to leave the school. We will submit the inquiry report to the district primary education officer, J M Kharadi, after three days. He is the competent authority to take further decision.”