The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Slap teacher on the run

The fugitive yoga teacher whose slap allegedly killed eight-year-old Iftesham Chowdhury will be sacked if she does not surrender by Monday.

The principal of Vidya Bharati School in Mominpur, where Iftesham studied in Class II, went to the Amherst Street house of Anita Das, the teacher, and found it locked, said Swapan Das, a member of the school’s managing committee.

“Several attempts over the past two days to contact the yoga teacher have proved futile. We left a letter at her house saying she would have to surrender by Monday. If she does not respond, we will serve her a termination letter,” added Das.

Iftesham was slapped so hard by Anita on Friday that her head rammed against a wall. She went into coma by the time she was taken to hospital. Doctors operated on her to remove a large blood clot in her brain. The child died at night.

“Corporal punishment is banned. It is clear that the yoga teacher violated the law. I will recommend to the managing committee that it terminates her contract,” said principal Anjana Mullick.

Police, too, have been unable to trace Anita. “We have charged her with causing death due to negligence,” said deputy commissioner (port division) Anand Kumar.

Iftesham’s father Chowdhury Masiar Rehman, younger brother of breakaway CPM leader Saifuddin Chowdhury, was unhappy with the role played by Watgunge police. “The teacher took my daughter’s life. But they slapped a soft charge on her. They should have started a murder case,” said Rehman, who buried his daughter on Saturday at his ancestral village in Memari, Burdwan.

The charge slapped on Anita is bailable and punishable with a maximum of two years in prison.

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