The Telegraph
Wednesday , March 27 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Probe into student-bashing in Golaghat school

Jorhat, March 26: The district administration has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the beating up of a group of Class VII students by senior students of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya at Cinatoli in Golaghat district on Monday evening, which left five of them injured.

Krishna Baruah, the ADC who is conducting the inquiry, said all the 28 involved students have been asked to vacate the hostel. Those from Sivasagar and Golaghat have already left and the students from Karbi Anglong and Udalguri will be sent tomorrow. According to the level of crime, students will be rusticated or given a transfer certificate after the inquiry is over, she said.

The students, some with bruise marks, were given first aid at Golaghat civil hospital on Monday night. ADC M. Ahmed said higher authorities of the Vidyalaya in Shillong have been informed and they will arrive tomorrow and take further action.

School principal K.Y. Ingale said the incident took place around 6.30pm when students of Classes XI and XII beat up a group of Class VIII students claiming they had stolen cash and clothes from the seniors. “Although the school has often come under the spotlight because of the students’ bad behaviour, it was before I joined. This is the first time that such a thing has happened during my tenure.”

The principal, who joined the school in September 2011, hoped that such incidents would not occur again in the future as this time the local people, the district administration and the AASU have got involved. This would act as a deterrent to such misbehaviour from the senior students.

A parent of a student of the school and former president of the Guardians’ Association, Dinesh Deka, told The Telegraph over phone from Golaghat that senior students beating up or otherwise harassing junior students had become a routine affair and almost something of a tradition.

“The school has for several years now been mired in controversy for some reason or the other. Things have come to such a pass that junior students now are learning all kinds of bad things from their seniors and practising the same when they become seniors. Being bullied now, they themselves turn into bigger bullies later on. In the name of education the school is producing criminals,” Deka said.

Deka said the boarders of Classes VII, VIII, IX stay in four boarding houses — Aravalli, Nilgiri, Udaigiri and Shivalik. “The students of Class IX treat their juniors like their personal slaves and the Class X students do the same with Class VIII students. They are made to do all kinds of odd jobs like cleaning, doing their assignments and even extorted. When these junior students reach the high school level, they mete out the same treatment to their juniors. The punishment for disobedience is harsh.”

Explaining yesterday’s incident, according to what he had been told, Deka said it was the doing of the Class X students, who had left the hostel after appearing for the matriculation examination. They had complained to the students of Class XI and XII that students of Class VIII had stolen cash and clothes from them. The beating which followed was a result this.

Deka alleged that though such incidents happened regularly, the teachers and boarding housemasters keep it under wraps for fear of giving the school a bad name.