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Boy died of lung ailment

Ranchi, Feb. 8: The eight-year-old Chanho schoolboy, an alleged victim of corporal punishment, died of a lung disease although there were injury marks on his body, the post-mortem report has said.

Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) in Ranchi, which conducted the autopsy, has handed over the report to deputy superintendent of police (Khelari) Radha Krishna Kishore, even as the accused teacher has surrendered.

Kishore said the autopsy report wasn’t specific on the question of corporal punishment. “The post-mortem report is vague. It suggests the cause of death as lung disease, but does not give any specific indication about corporal punishment,” he said, but added that the boy’s classmates claimed during interrogation that they had seen the teacher beating him up severely.

“There is every chance of getting the teacher prosecuted under Section 304 (unintentional murder) of the IPC,” he added.

An officer of Chanho police station provided details of the report to The Telegraph.

“The report, prepared by RIMS doctors on February 2, says that there were injury marks on Sujit Munda’s back that appear to have been caused by a hard, blunt object, thus suggesting corporal punishment.

“But it does not say that the injuries had caused the boy’s death. Rather, it says that the victim died of a lung disease.”

A Class I student of Rajkiya Prathmik Vidyalaya at Barhe in Chanho, 40km from the state capital, Sujit was allegedly thrashed by teacher Mohammed Arshad Hussain on January 28. He died six days letter, all along complaining of pain.

His father, a farmer, lodged an FIR with Chanho police on February 2, alleging that he died due to Hussain’s beating.

Though Hussain claimed Sujit’s father had framed him and even denied the boy was his student, district superintendent of education Jayant Mishra suspended him. Mishra also sent an inquiry committee to the Barhe school on February 3 to record statements of Sujit’s classmates.

Sujit’s five-year-old brother Kishan Munda and their friends who used to study in the same class claimed before the committee that the teacher had used a firewood to beat him thrice.

The eight-year-old was punished for not being able to solve addition and subtraction problems, they added.

Officer-in-charge of Chanho police station Sanjay Suman said that Hussain surrendered before the court of judicial magistrate S.N. Bara yesterday after they intensified their search for him. “The magistrate has forwarded him to judicial custody. He has been sent to Birsa Munda Central Jail,” Suman added.


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