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Face of school ransack files for preventive bail

Reshmi Dey, who was caught on camera vandalising property at Christ Church Girls’ High School in Dum Dum on September 12, filed for anticipatory bail in Calcutta High Court on Friday and denied her involvement in “those misdeeds”.

The petition will come up for hearing next week.

The 36-year-old mother of a Class VII student of the school said in her petition that she was forced to leave her house and hide after being “falsely implicated” in the vandalism at the school following the death of a Class V student.

Newspaper and television pictures had shown how Reshmi, who suffers from gout and requires physiotherapy, hopped from table to table, ripped open a wooden partition and picked up a computer monitor and some files to fling away. The image of the woman in a beige sari smashing school property stuck.

She said the police have been frequently visiting her Bapuji Colony home off Jessore Road.

“My client is a mother of two minor girls. She had to leave home fearing arrest, creating problems for the two daughters. The court should grant her anticipatory bail,” said A. Basu, her counsel in the high court.

Reshmi admitted that she was present during the “disturbance in the school” . “But I did not take active participation in damaging school properties,” she said in her petition.

The homemaker, who had studied till Class IX at Christ Church school, had described to Metro a day after the vandalism how she climbed atop a table to unbolt the door of the wooden partition.

“I don’t know where I got the strength from. I am undergoing physiotherapy because of gout pain in my left hand. Some men had already ripped open a part of the door and so I quickly picked up pieces of wood to try and pierce through the partition. I didn’t know that I had so much strength in my arms,” she had said.

Police said they “had clinching evidence”, including photographs and video clips, to establish Reshmi’s involvement in the vandalism.

“She was accompanied by two other women, Papiya Majumdar and Shampa Ghosh. We have already arrested Shampa and the search is on for Papiya, who is absconding,” said an officer of Dum Dum police station.

“She (Reshmi) may claim that she did not participate in the vandalism but we won’t accept it. We will continue our search unless the court restricts the police.”

In her petition, Reshmi claimed that she was suffering from several ailments and pleaded with the court to direct the police not to arrest her.

Lawyers in the high court said the other accused in the case would be awaiting the court’s order. “If Reshmi is granted anticipatory bail, others will appear before the court. They know an order favouring Reshmi will help them evade arrest,” one of the lawyers said.