| ADG (headquarters) Ravindra Kumar listens to Manttu Kumari at the chief minister’s janata darbar on Monday. Picture by Deepak Kumar |
Patna, Feb. 13: Chief minister Nitish Kumar today forced officials to lodge a criminal case against a teacher of a private school in Nalanda who had allegedly hit a four-year-old boy in the left eye with a stick leading to loss of vision.
Nitish gave the directions after the boy’s mother, Manttu Kumari (30), appeared at his weekly janata darbar with the child, Amit Kumar, whose left eye was wrapped in a bandage.
Manttu, a resident of Barihat village in Ben block of Nalanda district, said: “Sir, my son has lost vision in one eye. A private school teacher hit the eye with a stick when Amit failed to count from one to 10. What kind of punishment is this, sir? He is just four-year-old and studying in nursery. Kindly do something. I want my son to get back his eyesight and I also want you take stern action the teacher.”
Nitish took the application and, after reading it, said: “Don’t worry, I will take up this case seriously. This should not happen. How can a teacher hit such a small boy, no matter what mistake he may have committed?”
Nitish directed Ravindra Kumar, additional director-general of police (headquarters), to hear out the woman and take action against the teacher. ADG Kumar spoke to Nalanda superintendent of police (SP) Jitendra Rana and assured the woman that the teachers would be arrested shortly.
Manttu told The Telegraph that Amit, a student of Haridwar Babu Public School, was beaten on February 5. “My elder son informed me that a teacher, Dinesh Kumar Singh, had hit Amit with a stick. I rushed to the school and found that his left eye was bleeding. I took him to a primary health centre where the doctor said my son had lost his eyesight and referred him to Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH),” Manttu told The Telegraph.
“An FIR has been lodged against the teacher but no action has been taken yet. My husband Ranjit Choudhary, who has a small business, ran from pillar to post for justice. Tired of being rebuffed, I came to Patna this morning to seek redress. I hope I will get justice from Nitishji,” she said.
Health secretary Sanjay Kumar, who also spoke to Manttu, said: “I have directed the doctors at PMCH to look into the case seriously. It is very disappointing to see that a teacher has done this to the child. I am feeling sorry for him,” said the health secretary.
Nitish, who hails from Nalanda, said teachers had no right to mete out such harsh treatment. “Times have changed and no teacher has the right to punish a student like this. I have seen the child, it is really disappointing. I have asked the official (SP) to lodge a criminal case against the teacher,” he said.
The Nalanda administration, which had thus far sat on the FIR, swung into action following Nitish’s diktat. Nalanda district magistrate Sanjay Agarwal told The Telegraph: “A criminal case has been lodged against the teacher and very soon he will be arrested. At present, he is absconding and I have instructed the police to trace his whereabouts. I am sure that within a few days he will be arrested. I am personally looking into the case,” he said.