Students during a march on Saturday to protest the vandalism at the school and mourn the death of Oindrilla Das. Picture by Sanat Kumar Sinha
We, the alumni of Christ Church Girls’ High School, Dum Dum, are appalled and deeply concerned at the current state of affairs surrounding the death of Oindrilla Das, a student of our school.
The circumstances surrounding her untimely and unfortunate demise have precipitated in a series of events aimed at disgracing a glorious educational institute that prides itself on its dedication towards its students — all while the involvement of said institution is unsubstantiated.
On Thursday, hundreds of people, including but not limited to the guardians of current pupils, gathered around the school, entered the premises by force and vandalised the century-old heritage building. Teachers and residential students were held hostage to the mob rampage.
As a result, for only the second time in its history of 130 years, our school has been forced to send students home, the only other time being when the school premises were used to barrack soldiers during World War II.
In view of the current happenings, we the alumni of this illustrious institution respectfully request the appropriate authorities to consider the following points of action:
1. We expect the autopsy on Oindrilla to be performed in a speedy and unbiased manner and the cause of death determined. If foul play is involved, we request timely investigation of the circumstances of her death and those guilty are brought to justice.
2. We request strict action against the instigators and participants of the vandalism on school premises.
3. We appeal to the state and local law enforcement authorities to provide necessary and sufficient security for the school premises, the teachers and students and to ensure that school activities are resumed as soon as possible.
4. We request the school authorities to look into the allegations of the involvement of school personnel in the events that culminated in the death of a pupil, and that the school authorities cooperate with the police to bring the guilty to justice.
We also advocate the establishment of a monitoring committee with members comprising of school administration, alumni and guardians of current students to ensure communication between the parties with the hope that such unfortunate events are avoided in the future.
An educational institution like Christ Church Girls’ High School takes years to build and sacrifices of several generations to achieve its full glory. We are hopeful that with an able administration at helm, Christ Church will continue to be the school we love and feel proud to be a part of.
Minakshi Dutta, Toronto; Indrani Dutta, Sydney; Sonali Sengupta, Kolkata; Sreyashi Sen, Mumbai; Moumita Roy Charlottetown; Monideepa Dass, Dubai.