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Cane protest on campus

A day after the headmaster of a government high school in Jamshedpur caned 20 Class IX girls, one so severely that she fainted and had to be given saline, 50 furious parents launched a two-hour protest on Friday to demand his removal.

Trouble brew on Thursday when headmaster Abdul Majid of Harijan Uchha Vidyalaya, Bhalubasa, saw some Class IX girls in the corridor during recess. According to the girls, Majid got so angry that he charged up and beat them with a cane.

One of them, Priyanka Dey fainted on reaching her home at Nandnagar in Bhuiyandih and was rushed to MGM Medical College and Hospital in Sakchi where she was given saline before being released.

Priyanka’s friends on Friday said they all were “caned mercilessly without proper reason”. “Our school headmaster (Abdul Majid) was so furious that he started caning us on seeing us in the corridor. Nothing happened, we were just standing. That was our only fault,” a sobbing Kriti Kumari of Class IX said.

“He didn’t see where the cane struck us and what pain we were in. He stopped once, and when the girls started crying, he again came back and started caning us,” Kriti added.

Another girl said they realised Priyanka was feeling unwell after the beating. “We asked him to call an auto so that we could take Priyanka to the hospital but he ignored us.”

Priyanka’s father Swapan Dey, who runs a small garments business, filed a complaint with Sitaramdera police on Friday. Agitating with other parents, Dey said: “We won’t tolerate this behaviour from a headmaster and demand his immediate removal.”

The headmaster did not come to school. Teachers and other staffers also left the campus when the protest started at 10am. As it mounted, police personnel, including lady constables, were deployed from Sitaramdera thana to prevent any untoward incident.

The new district education officer of East Singhbhum, Mukesh Kumar Sinha, has promised a probe.