The Telegraph
Thursday , July 19 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Girl switches school in rebuff to Visva

Bolpur, July 18: The parents of the Patha Bhavan girl who was allegedly forced to lick her urine by a hostel warden today admitted her to another school in Bolpur, rebuffing Visva-Bharati’s efforts to retain her.

Bolpur Girls’ High School gave the Class V girl provisional admission as Patha Bhavan is yet to issue a transfer certificate.

“We gave her provisional admission after discussing the matter with our teachers and the managing committee. She can join school from Thursday. But we need the transfer certificate from her previous institution,” said Prajna Paramita Basu, the headmistress of Bolpur Girls’ High School.

She said the subdivisional officer had “requested” the school authorities to take her in. “The district magistrate also spoke to us over the phone,” Basu said.

“We will speak to the students of the section in which she will be admitted. We want to ensure that she is accepted and her bitter experience is not discussed in front of her. I suggested to her father that she come to school in uniform from the very first day. This will help her mix with the other students easily,” the headmistress said.

Basu said teachers would keep “special watch” on the girl as she had “gone through trauma”. “We want her to forget what she experienced.”

Asked about the allegations that she was forced to lick her own urine at Patha Bhavan’s Karabi hostel, Basu said: “Such incidents should not happen in hostels.”

When Basu asked the girl’s father why he chose Bolpur Girls’ High School, he said: “Four of my sisters and several of my cousins studied here. My daughter does not want to return to Patha Bhavan. She had to go through amanobik atyachar (inhuman torture) at Patha Bhavan.”

Patha Bhavan and Visva-Bharati authorities had requested the girl’s parents several times to send their daughter back to the school. Patha Bhavan principal Bodhirupa Sinha, Visva-Bharati registrar Mani Mukut Mitra had visited her home.

Calls to Mitra and Sinha’s cellphones went unanswered.

Santiniketan ashramites said the girl’s leaving Patha Bhavan was a “shame”. “The girl should study where she has nothing to fear. It is a shameful incident for entire Santiniketan,” said Somendranath Banerjee, a Tagore researcher.

Attendant suspended

Visva-Bharati has suspended an attendant for allegedly pushing the girl’s head towards the mattress to force her to lick the urine.

Sandhya Das Khan was found “guilty” by a varsity probe panel of trying to force the girl to lick her urine. Warden Uma Poddar asked the attendant to let off the girl after the Class V student started crying, the report said.