A Class VIII student died at a hospital in Murshidabad late Monday night with his parents accusing the headmaster of a private residential school of beating him to death.
The parents alleged that 13-year-old Shamim Mullick, their only son, died after he was brutally beaten up by headmaster Hanif Sheikh for going outside the school boundary to see them off when they visited him Monday evening. They alleged that Sheikh was angry as Shamim had not taken required permission from him to go outside the campus.
The authorities at Al Islamia Mission School in Majlishpur village of Murshidabad district also failed to inform the parents about Shamim’s death. The parents alleged that they were informed about the child’s death by the authorities at the local government hospital, where Shamim was shifted after his condition deteriorated.
Based on the father’s complaint the police arrested two persons. “Headmaster Hanif Sheikh and school’s owner Shahzada Al Mamun alias Liton Sheikh have been been arrested after a complaint was lodged at Barwan police station,” said C Sudhakar, Superintendent of Police, Murshidabad.
They were produced in a local court, which remanded them in two days’ police custody.
Most of the other teachers are absconding from the school.
A police officer said that in the preliminary investigations it has come to fore that the school authorities first took the child to Peace Nursing Home, which is owned by Azad Sheikh, who is also one of the owners of the Al Islamia Mission School. It was only when the condition of the child deteriorated, they took him to the local government hospital.
Hospital sources, however, said that when Shamim was brought there, he was already dead.
Parents of the child have blamed the school authorities for brutality and carelessness.
Shamim’s father Jugnu said: “We were not even informed by the school. This despite the fact that my cellphone number is registered with the school. At around midnight, I got a call from the hospital that my son has died. When I called up the school authorities, they told me that our son had fallen sick while studying”.
“It was later from the hospital and other sources that we came to know that our son was beaten up mercilessly by the headmaster,” alleged Jugnu, who is a bus driver by profession.
An inconsolable Shamima Bibi, the child’s mother, demanded capital punishment for the accused. “He was our only son. He was studying at a government school and we got him admitted here for a better education. They killed my child. I want to see the offenders being hanged,” she said.
Police said that the boarding school had about 40 students who stayed there. “It is not a very posh boarding school. It just provided the boarders with bare necessities,” said a police official.
Angry at the child’s death, villagers put up a road blockade at the Dak Bungalow Crossing Tuesday morning. The hour-long blockade caused disruption of vehicular traffic movement.