The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Boy stabs mate in PT class
- Broken ruler deals bloody blow, school says accident

Calcutta, June 25: A seven-year-old student of Class II stabbed one of his classmates with the sharp end of his broken ruler today.

The injured child was admitted to a nearby hospital with a deep gash on his neck. He has been kept under observation.

Immediately after a message reached the Lake police station from the hospital, officers went to the school and met the authorities there. They also visited the healthcare unit and recorded the incident in a general diary book.

'We have inquired into the incident. No case has been started because no one came forward to lodge a complaint,' said Anuj Sharma, the deputy commissioner of police, south division.

According to sources at the school, near the Dhakuria lakes, the incident took place when the kids were taken out from their classroom to the lawn for a physical training period. The boys had begun quarrelling over some trivial issue inside the classroom. They started scuffling on the lawn. No one noticed it.

'We heard a scream when one of them attacked his classmate with the broken end of the scale and we rushed there. On seeing the child with blood oozing from the wound on his neck, we informed the principal,' said a source in the school.

On hearing about the incident, the principal, who was near the lawn at the time, rushed to the spot only to see one of the children lying on the ground and groaning in pain. 'He was bleeding. We called his parents and rushed the boy to the private hospital. Blood was oozing out from the wound till the doctors attended to him,' he said later.

Dilip Ghosh, the doctor treating the child, said: 'The boy's condition is now stable and he is recovering well. We had to put a few stitches on him. He will be released in a day or two.'

Asked about the school's responsibility, the principal described the incident as merely an accident. 'We cannot say that seven-year-old kid had a bad intention. They were in a playful mood and it was sheer bad luck that the injury was a bit serious. There is no reason why we should raise a hue and cry,' he said. 'The school will bear all the treatment costs of the child.'

A section of guardians urged the institution to engage more teachers to monitor children when they are taken out of classrooms.

'The child who hit his classmate had a scale in his hand, which had one of its edges broken. He hit his friend with the pointed end. How could these two children be left unattended' one of the guardians asked. Some of them said more than one teacher should be minding the children when they step out of classrooms.

Reacting to the guardians' demand, the principal said: 'It is not possible for us to engage more than one teacher for a particular period. This is only a stray incident, nothing else.'

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