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Gwalior school expels 3 students

Bhopal, Aug. 26: The Gwalior school at the centre of a ragging controversy today expelled three senior students for alleged harassment of a junior, who remained critical in hospital after a suspected suicide bid last week.

In a statement, Scindia School principal Shamik Ghosh said the expulsions were “in line” with the institution’s “zero tolerance policy towards indiscipline”. The harassed junior is the son of Bihar’s cooperative minister Jai Kumar Singh.

The action came on a day a doctor also levelled serious allegations against the Madhya Pradesh institution, saying senior students had asked his son to steal food and wash their undergarments but the school had done “nothing”.

The decision to expel the three students came after Gwalior collector P. Narhari reportedly summoned the school authorities last evening, while local police registered FIRs against the trio.

Narhari, who has ordered a probe by sub-divisional magistrate S. Saxena, reportedly asked principal Ghosh why the school hadn’t informed the district administration or the police about either the ragging or last Wednesday’s alleged suicide attempt.

“All that we know is from the media,” Narhari is reported to have said.

The Class IX boy apparently tried to hang himself inside his school dorm and was found in semi-conscious state there on Thursday. He was admitted to Apollo Hospitals in Delhi the next day.

Minister Singh claims the seniors tried to strangle his son. “I have come to know that the school has taken action against the three boys involved in harassing my son. But there has to be more people involved,” he said.

Singh said his son was showing signs of improvement but the doctors had cautioned he was still not out of danger. “I hope he gets well soon,” he said.

The police, who have ordered a separate probe to focus on the allegations of ragging, have charged two employees, including a housemaster, with negligence.

The Scindia School management said the employees had been “debarred from performing their duties”. The Telegraph is withholding their names as their guilt is yet to be established.

Assistant superintendent of police Mohammad Yusuf Qureshi, who has been asked by senior superintendent of police Santosh Kumar Singh to conduct the probe, said: “After recording the statements of the three senior boys belonging to influential families, we found out that the Class IX boy attempted suicide as the trio used to harass him by asking him to do menial jobs.”

“The expelled trio are minors. They were let off on bail after formalities,” he said.

Earlier reports had said the three had asked the boy to polish their shoes, which he refused to do.

Police sources said apart from keeping the administration in the dark about the alleged suicide bid, the management had reportedly cleaned the dorm, which amounted to “destruction of evidence”.

Qureshi said his team had seized a bed sheet and a ceiling fan that were allegedly used in the suicide attempt.

There was no word from former Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, who heads the school’s board of governors.