Guardians in front of St Xavier’s School near Raiganj on Friday. Picture by Nantu Dey
Raiganj, Sept. 13: Over 100 parents of children studying in St. Xaviers’ School at Mirual near here today demonstrated in front of the institution for more than two hours alleging torture of junior students by seniors and the authorities’ indifference towards complaints of such incidents.
The North Dinajpur district magistrate has ordered the district inspector of schools to conduct an inquiry and submit a report to him.
The protest comes a day after Christ Church Girls’ High School in Calcutta was ransacked by agitated parents following the death of an 11-year-old girl who was allegedly tortured by her seniors. The parents alleged that repeated complaints of ragging and torture to the principal went unheard.
Today at 10am, over 100 parents assembled near St. Xaviers’ School at Mirual, 7km from here, alleging that despite several complaints of torture the principal remained silent.
“Assault of juniors with rulers and inflicting injury by piercing palms of children with compass are happening regularly. The principal and other representatives have not done anything to stop such practices despite being alerted by us,” a guardian said.
The protestors sent a message to the principal inside the school through a non-teaching staff member asking him to meet them but principal Alban Minz did not agree. A little later, Danny Abraham, a non-teaching employee, told the protestors they were free to admit their children elsewhere. By that time a police team had reached the spot.
At 11.30am, Minz agreed to meet a delegation of agitators.
Nirmal Kundu, who met Minz, said: “We gave him specific instances. Recently, a Class IV girl and another child of KG-II were assaulted. The senior students intimidate them and the children who do not inform the parents. The principal denied the allegations.” He added that the authorities had threatened them earlier saying the internal assessment marks of the students would get affected if they complained.
“From tomorrow, we will launch a dharna and we would not withdraw the agitation unless there is administrative intervention,” Kundu said.
The ICSE co-educational school with over 2,000 students has classes from Lower Nursery to XII. Today, classes were held according to the routine.
The demonstration continued till after 12noon.
Chanchal Sarkar said his daughter, a Class IV student, was beaten up with a ruler by some senior boys. “The principal had promised action but no one has been punished yet.”
P.N. Bhutia, North Dinajpur DM, said: “The district inspector of schools has been asked to conduct an inquiry and submit a report to me.”
Minz did not comment.