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‘Cops watched as vandals ran amok’

Principal says cops forced her to resign

Written by Express News Service | Kolkata | Published: September 19, 2013 3:57:04 am

The vandalism and violence at Christ Church Girls’ High School in Dum Dum was carried out while the police remained a mute witness,principal Helen Sarkar said Wednesday and alleged police officials forced her to resign after being prodded by an irate mob.

Two days after being granted bail by a court,Sarkar said those who indulged in vandalism on September 12 following the death of Oindrilla Das,a Class V student allegedly after being ragged,were “not a part of the school”.

“police,under pressure from the mob,asked me to resign. I gave in giving priority to the security and safety of teachers and students,” Sarkar said,adding the school managing committee did not accept her resignation.

Addressing the press,Sarkar said her students,teachers and guardians want her back.

“A decision to reopen the school will be taken by the governing body after the repair work is done and the monitoring committee submits its report,” she said. The principal said she had called in the police “for protection” but they arrived late and “the rampage took place right in front of their eyes and they were mere spectators.”

Terming the 11-year-old’s death as unfortunate,the principal said,“It should not have happened. I feel for the family. But what followed after that is very unfortunate.”

The principal said she wanted to visit Oindrilla’s family on September 12,a day after the girl died,“but the situation was such that we couldn’t visit.”

On the alleged ragging,she said,“Till now,nothing has been proved.” She also dismissed reports that the student may have committed suicide. She rubbished allegations that students brought liquor to school and that no parent-teacher meetings take place.

She said documents and registration papers for the next year’s board examinations might have been damaged during vandalism and added,“The council has been communicated over the phone.”

Meanwhile,Reverend Abir Adhikari,honorary secretary of the Diocese of Kolkata,rubbished reports the incident could have been due to the result of the bitter feeling between the diocese of Kolkata and Barrackpore.

“Diocese of Kolkata and Barrackpore are very close. I don’t know how these news originate,” he said.

Rights Commission seeks report

Kolkata: West Bengal Human Rights Commission Wednesday took suo motu cognisance of the death 11-year-old Oindrilla Das,allegedly after ragging,which led to vandalism at Christ Church Girls’ High School,and asked the state Home Secretary to file a report. “Chairman Justice (retd) Ashok Kumar Ganguly directed home secretary Basudeb Banerjee to get to conduct an inquiry by an ADG rank officer. The inquiry will include events from the death of student,vandalism of the school and resignation and arrest of school principal Helen Sarkar.

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