Bengal student dies after beating by teacher

Kolkata, May 17 (IANS) A class 3 student of a primary school in West Bengal’s South 24 Parganas district died here Friday, days after he was mercilessly thrashed by his teacher who allegedly beat him with a stick before banging his head against a wall.

Ten-year-old Bapi Joardar, a student of Nirdeshkhali Notunpara Sishu Siksha Kendra at Basanti, died at the state-run SSKM hospital.

“He was brought to the hospital in a critical condition. He had a head injury and died of excessive haemorrhage at around 4.45 a.m.,” said a hospital official.

The teacher Champa Mondal has been arrested and a case of culpable homicide not amounting to murder slapped against her, police said.

The victim’s family members said Joardar was pulled up by Mondal for throwing bags across the classroom during class. However, Mondal claimed that the mother of another student had complained that Joardar regularly beat up her son.

“She asked me why I or other teachers are not doing anything about it. I tried to stop him when I saw him quarrelling with a classmate. I never wanted to kill him.”

A student said Mondal banged the heads of the two students against each other. “Then she beat Joardar with a stick and also banged his head against a wall.”

The student hid the matter from his parents when he went home, but a few hours later started vomiting and fell unconscious. He was admitted to a hospital in the district but later transferred to the Calcutta National Medical College and Hospital when his condition deteriorated. Finally, he was shifted to SSKM hospital.

Agitated locals manhandled Mondal and ransacked her residence after news of the student’s death became public. Protests were held outside the institution demanding punishment for the teacher.

State Education Minister Bratya Basu has ordered an inquiry. “This is a condemnable offence and strong action will be taken against the teacher, if proved guilty,” Basu said.

Section 17 of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 stipulates that children cannot be subjected to physical and mental harassment. The state government has also framed rules to stop corporal punishment in schools.

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