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‘Fear’ after stabbing in school
- Bid to wipe blood, boy faces expulsion

Behrampore, Dec. 18: When Baruipara High School sang Jana, gana, mana… this morning, it was not half as enthusiastic as on other days.

Only about half the students had turned up at the school where a boy stabbed a girl and drank poison yesterday because she had turned down his marriage proposal.

After the subdued prayer, headmaster Noor Latif spoke to the students on the need to move ahead. “Yesterday’s incident is sad but rare. Don’t get scared. Concentrate on your studies.”

As he spoke, a man tried to wipe away bloodstains from the room where Nurman Ali had stabbed the Class VII girl nine times. It had been cleaned yesterday but the stains refused to go.

The room was empty yesterday as Class XII students were taking their higher secondary preparatory exams. It was locked up today.

Many students, particularly girls, assembled near the room when the school ended, but two men prevented them from getting any closer.

“The boy deserves exemp- lary punishment,” said Arjuna Khatoon, a classmate of the 14-year-old stabbed yesterday.

Mehboob Alam, a farmer, accompanied his daughter to school. “It is difficult to send children to school after what happened,” Alam said.

The father of the Class V girl was not the only one who came to drop their children. Many also stayed back for the classes to end.

The managing committee of the school, about 15km from Behrampore town, is holding an emergency meeting tomorrow to rusticate Nurman.

Headmaster Noor said the incident had had a “bad” impact. “Half of our 2,000 students were absent today.”

Class IX student Zarina Khatoon, who saw the stabbed girl in a pool of blood, said: “I could neither have dinner nor sleep last night.”

She skipped school today. “I’m scared,” Zarina said.

Some of the students queued up at the Behrampore New General Hospital to see their friend swathed in bandages.

“She is out of danger but under observation. She underwent a major operation yesterday because of a sharp cut in the liver and perforation in the small intestine,” said S.K. Roy, the doctor who supervised the surgery.

Standing by her bed, her father said she was still in pain. The girl cringed to show how painful it was.

Nurman, who had gulped down pesticide after being overpowered by teachers, was improving fast, said doctors at another hospital. He only had relatives and policemen visiting him.

Nurman has been arrested for the “attempt to murder”.

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