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Son injured, minister cries ragging

Patna/Gwalior, Aug. 22: A Class IX student of the prestigious Scindia School in Gwalior, who is also the son of a Bihar minister, is battling for life in a Delhi hospital amid allegations levelled by his family that he was harassed by seniors.

The father of the student, co-operative minister Jai Kumar Singh, claimed that his son was being harassed by his seniors in the institution. The school authorities said the boy was found unconscious in his room but refused to elaborate further.

The minister’s son was found hanging in his hostel room on Wednesday. He was immediately rushed to a local hospital.

Dr C.P. Bansal who attended to the student said the boy was unconscious and required specialised treatment. He was then rushed to Gwalior’s Global Speciality Hospital, but the doctors thought it was too critical a case to be handled there. Thereafter, he was shifted Delhi’s Apollo Hospitals. A doctor accompanied him to Delhi, 374km from Gwalior, in an ambulance.

The minister’s son is said to be battling for life on ventilator at Apollo, where he was admitted on Thursday. Doctors said he was suffering from cerebral hypoxia — a condition of inadequate oxygen supply to the brain.

Singh, the minister, told PTI over phone today that the school authorities informed him that his son tried to commit suicide on Wednesday night and was in serious condition. “But, I strongly dispute this. Even doctors attending to him at Apollo Hospitals said it does not seem to be a case of suicide but that of a suspected case of throttling to death,” PTI quoted the minister as saying.

The Scindia School authorities remained tight-lipped over the issue. “I shall speak to you later,” was the terse reply of the executive secretary of the school, Pawan Verma.

The school vice-principal, Shalini Mehrotra, said the boy was found unconscious in his room and was rushed to hospital. “We would know what exactly happened once he regains consciousness,” she said.

Gwalior collector P. Narhari said he had instituted an inquiry. Gwalior senior superintendent of police Santosh Kumar Singh said over phone: “We too have come to know about the incident and a team is trying to dig out the details.”

City superintendent of police V.S. Raghuvanshi said all aspects of the case were being investigated. He said there was no police complaint of ragging in The Scindia School in the past.

The Scindia School board of governors is headed by Jyotiraditya Scindia. His mother, Madhaviraje, is also a trustee. The school management considers “Scindians” on a par with Eton, Windsor, in their quest for excellence in all spheres of life. It is located in the Gwalior Fort, which towers 300ft above the Gwalior City and spread over 110 acres of land.

Jyotiraditya visited the Delhi hospital and consoled the Bihar minister. He also assured that the matter would be probed threadbare by a high-level committee of the school administration.

Narendra Kumar Sharma, the local guardian of the injured boy, told The Telegraph over phone from Gwalior: “I got information about the medical condition of the Bihar minister’s son from the child of an acquaintance who studies in the same school. When I visited the institution, the school authorities refused to share any information. They first admitted him to a local hospital and then shifted him to a Delhi hospital, following which I was informed about his medical condition.”

Rajeev Singh, the maternal uncle of the minister’s son, said: “We have demanded a probe into the incident and the circumstances under which my nephew suffered such serious injuries. We suspect it a case of ragging.”

Echoing Rajeev, Narendra said: “One of the cousins of the injured boy studies in the same school. He informed me that the minister’s son was being physically harassed by his seniors for a fortnight. He, however, did not know what led to such serious injuries to the boy.”


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