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School shut after ransack

Chopra, May 22: The Catholic-run primary school that was ransacked by local people here yesterday after the body of a student had been found in a campus pond was shut for an indefinite period from today.

Father of the Class III student of St Paul’s School, Subhasnagar, had alleged that Nirmal Roy, 10, was “beaten up by teachers” and “dumped in the pond”. After the incident, over 200 villagers ransacked the school. Nirmal’s family filed a murder case yesterday.

Abraham Hembram, a member of the school committee, said: “We have no idea how Nirmal reached the pond and no one saw him. Since yesterday, all of us have been feeling insecure fearing attacks. Under the present circumstances, we have shut down the school.”

Father Benedict Toppo, who looks after the school’s administration, has gone into hiding since yesterday. School principal Sister Nirmakla Tirkey did not comment today.

The co-educational residential school has 316 students.

Subimal Pal, the subdivisional police officer of Islampur, said: “A murder case has been registered on the basis of a complaint by the family. The second case has been filed for ransacking and torching school property and a third for trying to prevent policemen from performing their duties.”

Yesterday, some agitators threw stones and seven policemen, including the inspector in-charge of Chopra police station, were injured. Tapan Debnath from Subhasnagar has been arrested for the attack.

The boy’s father Labol Roy, a resident of Debijhora, is a tea garden worker. “Nirmal had told his father that he was being beaten up and tortured. His father spoke to the Father (Benedict Toppo) about it. Nirmal was thrashed and thrown to the pond,” said Nirmal’s mother Monika.