| The authorities of Our Lady Queen of the Missions in a huddle after Tuesday's incident, when they forgot a Class V student had not gone home even after classes broke up. Picture by Pabitra Das
Our Lady Queen of the Missions School, in Salt Lake's HB Block, was once again sucked into controversy after police received a complaint of negligence concerning a Class V student. Earlier, the school had hit the headlines over charges that a teacher had tugged at a girl's hair and uprooted a tuft.
Devipriya Kahauta had fallen asleep on Monday in the school's sick bay after she complained of feeling feverish. But the authorities did not notice she was inside even after the school gave over and all the students had left for the day.
It was only after Devipriya's mother turned up looking for her daughter that the authorities realised that the girl was still inside the room.
On Tuesday, officers from the Bidhannagar (South) police station asked the school to explain the oversight. Sleuths spent over 45 minutes talking to teachers and the school authorities.
'After taking into account the findings, we have initiated an inquiry into the incident. Since the probe is on, it would not be right to comment on the matter,' said Praveen Kumar, police superintendent of North 24-Parganas.
According to Sister Mary Sebastian, in charge of the school's primary section, Devipriya complained of illness during the second-last period of the day. She was taken to the sick bay by her teacher and asked to rest. When the school gave over, the class captain gave Devipriya her school bag.
'We had closed the school slightly early since there was a meeting. While everyone was leaving, I asked some of Devipriya's friends and they said she had left. After some time, when the girl's mother turned up with her grandfather, we realised she had not gone home,' said Sister Mary Sebastian.
While school authorities claim the girl was locked in for 15 to 20 minutes, some parents alleged that nobody realised she was inside for over 35 minutes.
Soon thereafter, the school's physical training teacher was sent to trace the girl and after a quick search, she was spotted sleeping in the sick bay. The girl, living in the same block as the school, was finally handed over to her mother.
Devipriya did not attend school on Tuesday since she was unwell.
Devipriya's father, Ravi Narayan, said the 'matter was closed' and he would not speak on the incident. 'Everything has been resolved and it is a closed chapter now,' he said.