The Telegraph
Saturday , September 17 , 2011
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Rally enforcers roam free

Police are yet to trace the four AIDSO activists against whom the school education department filed an FIR on Thursday to find out whether they had forced students of a New Alipore school to join a rally.

The four activists named in the FIR lodged with Behala police station are Suvankar, Rahul Goswami, Pintu Das and Goutam.

The FIR was lodged after the government ordered a probe following reports that 45 students of Mathuranath Vidyapith had been herded to a AIDSO rally on Rani Rashmoni Avenue on September 8.

The police have done little to track down the quartet apart from asking the headmaster of Mathuranath Vidyapith, M.M. Monsur, to find out whether they are ex-students of the institution.

“The police asked us to provide them with the addresses and contact numbers of the youths if they had studied at our school. How can we do that without knowing their full names and the passing-out years?” asked Monsur.

“Since we don’t have any electronic database, it’s difficult to find out wether they are ex-students of the school in the absence of such basic details.”

The headmaster wondered why the cops weren’t asking leaders of the AIDSO, the student wing of the SUCI, about the activists. Officers of Behala police station failed to answer why they haven’t done that.

The police claimed the probe had suffered a setback in the absence of eyewitness accounts. “Several guardians and students who had claimed that they knew the DSO leaders who had forced the students to join the rally have since withdrawn their statements. How can we arrest anyone under these circumstances?” asked an officer of the police station.

As part of the probe, the police had asked the school to provide them with a copy of the September 8 page of the register.

The managing committee of the school met on Friday to chalk out its course of action following the government’s decision to start departmental proceedings against the headmaster and two teachers —Sudipto Kumar Mondal and Pankaj Roy.

“Our teachers are innocent and are being unjustly harassed. We will move court if the education department suspends or transfers them,” said a committee member who did not want to be named.

Monsur, however, admitted that the September 8 incident could have been prevented had the school authorities been cautious.

Guardians of the students of Mathuranath Vidyapith welcomed the government’s announcement that a notification would be issued to prohibit students, teachers and other employees of schools from joining rallies during school hours.

“It will be a great relief if the government can enforce the ban,” said the mother of a Class IX student.

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