Police started investigating the death of Class V student Oindrilla Das on Tuesday, six days after her grandfather lodged an FIR alleging negligence by Christ Church Girls’ High School and accusing some senior students of torturing her.
Niranjan Das, 86, had lodged the police complaint on September 11, the day Oindrilla died. A chain of events connected to the incident has taken place since, overshadowing the delay in probing the girl’s death.
The police had arrested Helen Sircar, principal of Christ Church Girls’ High School in Dum Dum, the day after Oindrilla’s death. While she was still in lock-up, they rounded up some guardians and outsiders on charges of vandalising the school.
On Tuesday, Barrackpore police visited Oindrilla’s Baguiati home and spoke to her father Santanu, mother Rekha, grandfather Niranjan and her tutor. Additional deputy commissioner Biswajit Ghosh, assistant commissioner Mohammad Nasim and the officer-in-charge of Dum Dum police station, Prabir Chatterjee, were in the team.
“We have also spoken to the doctors who treated the girl, but I cannot reveal the findings of the investigation,” said Debasish Bej, deputy commissioner (detective department).
The cops spent an hour and a half recording the statements of Oindrilla’s family members on camera. They also spoke to her private tutor.
The police team took with them Oindrilla’s school diary, doctors’ prescriptions and her hospitalisation and medicine bills.
Oindrilla’s family has accused some of her seniors of locking her up in a washroom in school and threatening her with more harassment if she revealed their names.
Her parents said she didn’t tell them anything, opening up only to doctor Dwaipayan Ghatak, who treated her on September 8. When she complained of abdominal pain the next day, her parents admitted her to a nursing home. She was released from there on September 10 but became unconscious the next morning.
Oindrilla was taken to a hospital on the Bypass, where doctors declared her dead.
The police spoke to Ghatak and another doctor named Dipak Ghosh, who had examined Oindrilla. The girl’s parents had taken her to Ghatak first. Ghosh treated her at the nursing home.
A two-member team from the state forensic laboratory visited the school on Tuesday and collected pieces of broken furniture and other items. The team also examined all the washrooms in the school to find out whether they could be bolted from outside. “There are around 20 washrooms and most of them can be bolted from outside,” said C. Sarkar, a member of the team.
Oindrilla’s family has lodged a complaint with the West Bengal Human Rights Commission, seeking its intervention in the case. “We have requested the commission to pressure the government into releasing the post-mortem report,” the girl’s aunt, Susmita Mondal, said.
There is still no news on when the school will reopen. “It cannot be said when the school will reopen, but we are trying to do it as quickly as possible,” said Rev. Abir Adhikary of the Church of North India.