The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Hostel student tied & beaten with stumps
Asish Haldar

Midnapore, Aug. 9: A Class X student was tied to window bars and beaten up with cricket stumps by the superintendent and assistant superintendent of a school hostel because he threatened to expose their irregularities.

Asish Haldar of Vivekananda Mission Academy in Kolaghat, was taken to a doctor yesterday, two days after what East Midnapore police called “inhuman beating”.

His mother Chhabi Haldar received a phone call at home yesterday morning from the superintendent, Dulal Manna, who said Asish was ill. “When I reached the hostel in the afternoon, my son was running temperature. The wound on his thighs was raw and his body was covered with bruises and welts. He was in pain and lying on his bed,” she said.

Manna and his deputy Suresh Santra were arrested today on the basis of a complaint lodged by the mother.

The officer-in-charge of the Kolaghat police outpost, Totan Sarengi, said: “One does not even beat up animals like that. It was inhuman.”

The 16-year-old, whose father is a businessman at Baruipur in South 24-Parganas, would appear for Madhyamik next year.

He is among 200 students staying in the school hostel in the Khadinan area of Kolaghat, 75 km from Calcutta.

The block medical officer of Kolaghat, Dulal Bhanja, said his injuries were “serious”. The skin on the thighs had split and there were contusions on his arms and legs.

After first aid at the Kolaghat block primary health centre, Ashis was taken back to Baruipur.

The boy said he had been targeted because he had pointed out several irregularities in the hostel to the headmaster. “I was punished several times without any valid reason because I protested against the lack of sports facilities and the miserable quality of food in the hostel.”

On Monday, the hostel superintendent summoned him to his room. “He asked his assistant to tie me up to the window. Then he started beating me with a stump. After some time, I fell unconscious,” said Asish.

Classmate Debashish Lebu said Asish was limp when he saw him. “He was unconscious. The superintendent untied him. We took him to his bed and made him lie down.”

Twice earlier in the past eight-nine days, instances of schoolteachers treating students brutally have made news.

Halima Khatun, a Class V student of Sarenga High School in Howrah’s Sankrail, was pulled up on August 2 for bumping into a classmate. A teacher, Suresh Maiti, asked her to hold burning newspapers until her hand was burnt. Maiti was arrested.

In Nadia’s Kalinagar, 13-year-old Basana Bhadra fell unconscious in her classroom and had to be hospitalised on August 3 after being hit on the head several times by her mathematics teacher. Her fault: cleaning her ear with a rolled up piece of paper during class.

Manna said Asish was a disobedient boy and frequently hid things used in the hostel to harass others. “He was vitiating the hostel atmosphere and sometimes threatened us also,” he added.

However, the school’s teacher-in-charge, Goutam Pal, did not side with the hostel boss. “Boys of this age may misbehave or be disobedient at times. But what the superintendent has done is highly unacceptable. I was not informed about the incident. I came to know of it much later,” he said.

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