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Mob of teachers storms convent

Siliguri, Jan. 30: A mob demanding reinstatement of dismissed teachers forced its way into the sisters’ quarters of the Nirmala Convent here, rampaging and terrorising the teachers.

Claiming to be members of the Siliguri Teachers’ Forum, the mob armed with cutting tools barged into the second-floor living quarters school principal Sister Mercy John shared with six others.

The mob had forced its way into the sprawling complex by threatening the lone guard at the main entrance. The group then rushed to the principal’s office and found it was closed.

They then went up to the second-floor enclosure. Seeing the collapsible gate shut, they started ringing the bell and banging on it. When one of the sisters came out, the mob demanded a meeting with the principal.

Sister Teresta, who had come to answer the bell, was told to open the gate. Some women members in the mob allegedly started shoving her, demanding that the principal be called out.

Sister John, who had heard the commotion, locked herself in a room with five other sisters.

The mob forced its way in and used a saw to cut open the wooden door and pulled her out. They told the principal to immediately give a written undertaking that she would reinstate the two dismissed teachers.

“The school had given over at 3 pm. After all 1,200 students left for home, we heard a commotion at the main gate. One of my colleagues told me a mob of over 100 people was trying to force its way in. The Bhaktinagar police did not respond to our calls. They came an hour later,” said Sister John.

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