The Telegraph
Saturday , November 12 , 2011
Since 1st March, 1999
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Ragging report onus on state

After seeking details of the alleged ragging incident at Sainik School, Tilaiya, from Jharkhand Human Rights Movement — an NGO working for tribal rights — the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has written to the state government, asking for a probe report within four weeks.

The letter, addressed to chief secretary S.K. Choudhary, also says that the rights body will take action as it deems proper if the state government fails to respond to the directive.

Last week, a Class VIII student of the prestigious army cradle, Shankar Xalxo, alleged that he had been constantly ragged by his seniors both at the institute and the hostel since he joined the school two years ago. Son of a tea stall owner, Shankar also claimed that he suffered injuries after being forced to do push-ups a couple of months ago.

The boy, who returned to his Karamtoli home during vacation, has now refused to join classes and is instead working at his father’s tea stall.

The school authorities, however, continued to deny that Shankar was ragged on the campus. Principal Lt Col T.D. Premlal maintained that an independent inquiry conducted by them confirmed no such incident.

Premlal also said Shankar’s claims that two other boys were forced to leave the school after being similarly ragged were false.

“He named two students — Vishwanath Oraon and Satyam Sonu. Let me clarify that the former left the school a year ago as he couldn’t pay the fees and had remained absent for a long period. According to CBSE norms, a student needs to maintain a certain percentage of attendance. Satyam joined school after vacation and has nothing to complain,” said the principal, reiterating that Shankar might not want to continue his studies and hence, cooked up the ragging story.

“When parents send their wards to our school, it’s our responsibility to take care of them. For us, every student is important and I can assure you that nothing has happened,” he added.

To buttress his point, the principal said he had asked Shankar’s parents to appear before the investigation team, along with the boy, on November 15. “We will take immediate action if the boy or his parents identify anyone who troubled or ragged him. I hope they will turn up,” he said.

Premlal said he had been frequently playing truant. “Last time, he was absent from school, he said he had typhoid. He took leave on medical grounds several times before too. This indicates that he is probably homesick and doesn’t want to return whenever he goes home. Moreover, as he is the only child, his parents’ pampering might make him want to stay at home,” said Premlal.

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