Probe ordered into student’s suicide in Bengal

Kolkata, May 29 (IANS) Human rights panels Wednesday ordered a probe into the suicide of a Class 9 student after allegedly being tortured and humiliated by his teacher.

The state Human Rights Commission and the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) ordered a probe into the alleged torture and humiliation and the boy committing suicide. The incident occurred in West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri district.

“We have asked the Inspector General of Police (North Bengal) to conduct a probe to be headed by an officer not below the rank of a deputy superintendent of police and submit a report within three weeks,” state Human Rights Commission joint secretary Sujay Haldar said.

The 15-year-old student of Phanindra Deb High School hanged himself to death using his jeans at his residence days after he was physically tortured and humiliated for breaking a bench in the school.

The incident happened late May 27 night.

“He was repeatedly hit with a duster on his hands. His fingers were badly swollen. They (school authorities) had called his father asking for Rs.5,000 for the broken bench,” said Deepti Mukherjee, the boy’s mother.

NCPCR has ordered Jalpaiguri’s superintendent of police to probe the matter and submit a report at the earliest.

“The incident is highly deplorable. The teenager was regularly harassed and beaten by his teacher after he broke a school bench. They asked his parents for Rs.5,000 to replace the bench,” NCPCR member Vinod Tikku said.

“The school had threatened that it would not allow the student to appear for his exams, which started Tuesday. He committed suicide hours before the exams were to start,” added Tikku.

A case of abetment of suicide has been registered against school teacher Anubrata Sarkar and headmaster Sujon Som Roy. Both are absconding.

“We are probing the matter and will apprehend both of them soon,” Jalpaiguri’s Superintendent of Police Amit Javalgi said.

NGO Child Rights and You (CRY) has also condemned the incident.

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