| The campus of St Paul’s School at Jalapahar. Picture by Suman Tamang
Darjeeling, Aug. 10: A Class XI student of St Paul’s School here was beaten up by five boarders on Sunday, prompting the parents of the boy to write to the district police chief.
However, Keneiwe Medikhru’s father has decided not to file an FIR or press charges because of “the tearful apology of the boys and (the) plea” of the school authorities.
The accused are students of Classes XI and XII.
In a letter to Rajesh Subarno, the Darjeeling superintendent of police, Kevichusa Medikhru said his son, who has joined the institution this year, was assaulted in his bath on August 5.
“The incident happened for no apparent reason and my son was inflicted (sic) injuries on the face, left eye, (and had) bruises on the chest and back,” the letter reads. Keneiwe was then admitted to the school infirmary. However, it was not clear who had informed the parents, who stay in Nagaland.
The local guardian of the boy, Ajoy Edwards, said he was shocked when he first heard the news. “I could not believe that this could happen in an elite school,” Edwards said.
One of the oldest school in Bengal, St Paul’s was started by John William Ricketts as The Parental Academic Institution at Park Street, Calcutta, in 1823.
In 1846, the school was renamed St Paul’s. It was shifted to Jalapahar in Darjeeling in 1864. The school attracts students from across the globe, particularly, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh and the annual fee is as high as Rs 2 lakh.
Sunday’s incident is a repetition of a similar episode that had rocked the elite school less than a year ago. Imtiaz Sultan, a student from Bangladesh, had broken his nose in a brawl following which Sultan’s parents had lodged an FIR with the Sadar police station.
The rector of the school, D.A. Howard, had assured reporters then that such incidents would not be repeated.
This time though Keneiwe’s father has not brought any charges. “I, as a concerned father with a sympathy for the future of the boys who assaulted my son, have decided not to press any charges with a spirit of forgiveness,” Medikhru’s letter to Subarno reads. He has also decided to let his son carry on with his studies at the institution.
Subarno said since a letter has been written “we will start a police inquiry so that such things are not repeated”.
Howard, however, refused to answer most questions on the incident. “Do you want to incriminate my children,” he asked. At one point the rector even said the information was wrong but later added that the “matter has been amicably sorted out” when it was made clear to him that The Telegraph knew about the letter to Subarno.
“These things happen even in the family,” Howard said.