Nurman Ali. Picture by Partha Biswas
Behrampore, Dec. 17: A Class XI boy stabbed a Class VII girl nine times before gulping down pesticide in a school in Murshidabad apparently because they were too young to marry.
The 14-year-old girl, whose liver and small intestine have suffered cuts, is said to be out of danger. The boy, 19, was admitted to hospital after he vomited and collapsed in the police station.
The attack comes less than a week after the cult of the gun entered the Indian classroom when two boys gunned down another student in Gurgaon.
Baruipara High School in Hariharpara, 15km from Behrampore, got the first hint of the macabre turn of events this morning when a scream rang out. Early birds who rushed into a near-empty classroom found the girl lying in a pool of blood and Nurman Ali standing beside her, holding a knife.
Reconstructing the attack, police later said Nurman and the girl had reached the school at 10.40, 20 minutes before the opening bell. Nurman apparently called the girl to his class and insisted she marry him.
The moment the girl refused, the police said, Nurman whipped out the knife from his pocket and stabbed her five times in the belly, twice in the right hand and once each in the waist and chest.
We saw the girl (name withheld) writhing in pain. We also saw Nurman standing by her side with a knife in his hand. We called a rickshaw-van and took the girl to the primary health centre, half a kilometre from the school, said Rashid Ali, a classmate.
Other students caught hold of Nurman and were about to beat him up, but teachers took charge of him and kept him confined in the staff room. Officials informed the police and closed the school for the day.
In the police station, Nurman started vomiting and complained of drowsiness. Questioned, Nurman said he had gulped down a vial of pesticide after stabbing the girl, Deepak Das, the officer in charge of Hariharpara police station, said. The boy was then hospitalised.
Nurman had carried with him the pesticide his father Alimuddin Sheikh, a farmer, had bought to spray in his fields.
By then, the girl had been shifted to a hospital for surgery. The operation took more than one-and-a-half hours. There was a sharp cut in the liver and perforation of the small intestine. More than 15 stitches were needed for the other wounds, Obaidur Rahaman, a doctor at the hospital, said.
The police said Nurman claimed that he and the girl had approached a marriage registrar but were turned away. The marriageable age for boys is 21 and girls 18.
The boy then went to the girls house and sought her hand in marriage. We drove him away since my daughter is a minor, the girls mother said.
However, headmaster Noor Latif said he was unaware that the girl and the boy knew each other. Latif said the boys behaviour had been a cause for concern and the school had stopped short of expelling him last month after a written assurance from his father.