Calcutta, April 5: Amalendu Das, a headmaster who had about four months left to retire, was beaten up today by guardians of two students whom he turned out of the examination hall for cheating.
After about 30 years of service at Dakshin Gopalnagar Secondary School, Das went to hospital today with the memory of a guardian saying: 'Pariksha dik na dik, promotion ta jatey pay (You have to make sure they are promoted, whether or not they write the exam)'.
The head of the school at Patharpratima in South 24-Parganas, about 70 km from Calcutta, was kicked and punched. He went to hospital with injuries to his neck and stomach.
From his hospital bed, the headmaster lodged an FIR naming four people, including the guardians of Sajal Jana of Class V and Chandan Pradhan of Class VIII. No arrests were reported till this evening.
Police said Day IV of the school's annual examination began at 10 am. The headmaster was doing the rounds of the hall when he suspected something foul and warned Sajal and Chandan. The duo was later caught copying from textbooks.
Sajal and Chandan, who were writing their geography and history papers, were then asked to accompany Das to his office. 'They went with him, answer scripts in hand. He tried to talk sense into them and requested them not to cheat in exams. But the boys accused the headmaster of trying to frame them,' said additional superintendent of police (rural) C.K. Dutta. Das asked the students to leave the school and call their guardians.
Around 1.30 pm, on his way home with some of his colleagues, the four guardians blocked the headmaster's path, pushed him to a corner and demanded to know why he turned the two boys out.
An argument ensued and suddenly they started raining blows. The headmaster slumped to the ground as his colleagues looked on without daring to intervene.
'The four persons walked away threatening the headmaster with dire consequences if the two students were not promoted,' a police officer said.
The teachers accompanying Das were 'shocked'.
One of them, too scared to be identified, said: 'We still cannot imagine a senior headmaster... a teacher... being beaten up by guardians'.'
The teachers took the headmaster to Kakdwip Subdivisional Hospital. Some of them went to Patharpratima police station and informed about the incident.
'We will not spare the guilty. I have asked the OC to track down the accused,' said the additional superintendent.