The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Face-save drive after HS mix-up tragedy

Midnapore/Calcutta, April 7: Barely 12 hours after returning home from his father’s funeral, Biswajit Dhara was back at a Higher Secondary Examination centre.

Biswajit lost his father and nine other well-wishers in a mishap that was the culmination of a tragic sequence of events set in motion after an invigilator wrongly suspected him of having walked away with his chemistry answer-script yesterday.

The higher secondary examination council arranged for Biswajit to appear for his physics test from the government-sponsored Vivekananda Vidya Bhavan, the school nearest to his residence in Haldia.

A red-faced council also ordered a probe into the answer-script mix-up — Biswajit’s chemistry answer paper was found in a bundle of history papers. President Jyotirmoy Mukherjee is likely to visit Haldia on April 16 to meet Biswajit and his family.

But the council is yet to identify the “errant” invigilators.

The blunder of invigilators was responsible for Monday night’s mishap. Biswajit had phoned an SOS to his father after the invigilators hauled him up.

His father Mukti and a group of well-wishers were rushing to Nandigram in a hired Tata Sumo in pitch darkness when the vehicle collided with a truck at Kapasgeria in East Midnapore, 120 km from Calcutta, killing all of them.

School education minister Kanti Biswas today said in Calcutta the government has taken a serious view and is determined to punish those whose negligence led to 10 deaths.

“What the council needs to do now is to identify the persons who had wrongly put Biswajit’s chemistry script in the history bundle... I have asked the council to set up the inspection team as early as possible and submit a report,” Biswas said.

Officials said the team would start the probe on Friday. The members include venue supervisor and centre secretary of Khodombari High School in Nandigram — where Biswajit wrote his chemistry paper II, a representative of the government and a council official.

Caught on the wrong foot, the council today extended all possible help to Biswajit to complete his remaining tests. Officials went to Biswajit’s house this morning and escorted him to the examination centre. They stayed by his side till the test was over.

The council also promised to provide financial help to Biswajit for his education. “We have heard that Biswajit is a good student and he wishes to study engineering. We are planning to provide financial help to Biswajit if he wants to study engineering,” said council president Mukherjee.

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