The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Siesta teacher canes girl
- Woken up, headmaster leaves student unconscious

Calcutta, Sept. 14: A guru woken up could be a curse.

A primary school head- master in Naihati beat a Class IV girl unconscious inside the classroom yesterday afternoon after he was woken up by the cacophony raised by the children. Payel Biswas had to be hospitalised.

Doctors at the Naihati State General Hospital said she had injuries on her hands and legs. Payel underwent a CT scan today.

Her father Bimal, an employee with a courier company, lodged a complaint at Naihati police station against the headmaster of Rajendrapur Primary School, Subal Haldar, this afternoon.

“We have called the headmaster for questioning,” said Basab Dasgupta, the Barrackpore additional superintendent of police.

Around 1.30pm yesterday, Haldar came to the class as the teacher concerned was absent. He wrote a few arithmetic sums on the board and asked the students to solve them. Then, with his cane on the desk, he fell asleep.

Seeing the headmaster sleeping, the students lost interest in the sums. Their chatter grew louder by the minute.

They should have known better and kept quiet like Karna in Mahabharata. Karna withstood great pain when bitten by a bajrakeet while his teacher in warfare, Parashuram, slept with his head on his lap.

When Parashuram woke up, he concluded from Karna’s perseverance that this disciple could only be a Kshatriya. Being a Brahmin was a prerequisite for Parashuram’s coaching and Karna had concealed his identity. He was cursed.

At Jafarpur in Naihati, North 24-Parganas, the headmaster woke from his siesta with a start and ran after the students, waving the cane furiously.

“Stand up those of you who were shouting in class,” Haldar barked and the students cringed.

“Some of us were hiding under desks,” a student said.

Confused, Payel made the mistake of standing up. The headmaster thought she had owned up responsibility for creating the ruckus.

He took her by her hair and slapped her repeatedly. Then he began caning her.

Payel told her father she was beaten up for several minutes. She did not remember what happened after that.

Seeing her slump to the ground, the headmaster stopped and called the other teachers.

Payel’s parents were informed and she was taken to the hospital.

Guardians surrounded the headmaster this morning and sought an explanation. Haldar apologised. “He promised that such an incident will not happen again,” said Manick Sardar, whose son is in Class II.

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