Oindrilla Das with mother Rekha
A Class V student at a school in Dum Dum died on Wednesday morning, eight days after she was allegedly locked inside a washroom by some seniors who had demanded money from her.
Doctors and parents of Oindrilla Das, a student at Christ Church Girls’ Higher Secondary School, said the 10-year-old had been suffering from severe trauma.
A sweeper of the school had found Oindrilla locked inside the washroom last Tuesday. When she returned to school the next day, she was allegedly threatened by her seniors. “The girls said she would face more severe punishment if she disclosed their names. They also asked for money again,” said Santanu Das, Oindrilla’s father.
Oindrilla refused to go to school after that but didn’t divulge anything till Sunday, when her parents took her to a doctor. “She had started behaving differently at home. She had stopped eating and kept to herself all the time,” said Santanu Das, who has a business in supplying cartons.
It is to the doctor that Oindrilla finally confided about “torture by seniors”. “After much coaxing, she said she was being ragged in school. ‘Please don’t tell my parents that the senior students had locked me in the toilet’, she pleaded,” said Dwaipayan Ghatak, the child specialist who saw Oindrilla.
The senior girls had allegedly demanded Rs 100 from Oindrilla and locked her up when she failed to give the money. “Oindrilla would often ask us for Rs 100 and on several occasions we refused. Now we realise why she always insisted,” said mother Rekha.
Oindrilla was admitted to a nursing home on Monday night after she complained of pain in the abdomen. “We did an X-ray of the chest and abdomen and also an ultrasound along with some blood tests but nothing was revealed. But her behaviour was odd and she was extremely reluctant to speak,” said Dipak Ghosh, a general surgeon at the nursing home.
At the time of discharge the next day, doctors advised Oindrilla’s parents that she needed psychological counselling.
Oindrilla fell unconscious on Wednesday morning and was rushed to a private hospital along the Bypass, where doctors declared her “brought dead”.
Oindrilla’s grandfather has lodged an FIR with Dum Dum police station. “We have started a case of criminal intimidation, causing grievous hurt and wrongful restraint,” said Debasish Bej, the deputy commissioner of the detective department at Barrackpore commissionerate. He added that the nature of charges could change as the investigation progressed.
The body was sent for post-mortem.
The principal of the school said she had not been alerted by Oindrilla’s parents. “Had the parents informed me about the incident, I could have asked the girl to identify the guilty and taken steps…. I don’t know whether the incident actually happened. The parents never approached me,” said Helen Sarkar.
A 11-year-old boy was knocked down by a trailer at Garden Reach at 2.45pm on Wednesday. He was taken to SSKM Hospital, where he was declared dead.