regular-article-logo Monday, 05 June 2023

Teen suicide bid after strip-search

Class IX student suffered 90 per cent burns and was fighting for her life, sources at the Tata Main Hospital said

Animesh Bisoee Jamshedpur Published 16.10.22, 12:42 AM
Representational Image

Representational Image File Photo

A 14-year-old Dalit schoolgirl set herself on fire at her home in Jamshedpur after being allegedly strip-searched at school by a woman teacher who accused her of cheating in an exam.

The Class IX student suffered 90 per cent burns and was fighting for her life, sources at the Tata Main Hospital said.


On a complaint from the girl from her hospital bed, police arrested teacher Chandra Das on Saturday, a day after the girl’s suicide bid.

Earlier on Saturday, the Kendriya Mukhi Samaj, which represents the Dalit Mukhi community to which the girl belonged, protested near the district education office in the city.

Parents and relatives of many students of Sardamoni Girls’ High School, a private school in Sakchi, Jamshedpur, joined the protest.

“The girl belongs to a poor family and has lost her father. We have heard that the accused teacher had earlier too insulted the girl for being a Dalit,” Sambhu Mukhi, senior functionary of the Samaj, said.

“We protested demanding the teacher be arrested and the school management or the administration bear the girl’s medical expenses.”

Reports said the girl was writing a science paper as part of her terminal exams on Friday when the teacher accused her of cheating and strip-searched her for chits before other students.

After returning home in the evening, she sent her three sisters out of the home, doused herself in kerosene and set herself on fire.

“Based on the complaint registered by the girl at the hospital before a magistrate, we have arrested the teacher. We cannot comment further and are investigating,” Sitaramdera OC Akhilesh Mandal said.

Gita Rani Mahato, the principal-in-charge at the school, denied all allegations.

“The teacher brought the girl before me on Friday and I let her go with a warning. We neither beat the girl nor forced her to undress,” Mahato said.

The district superintendent of education has formed a probe committee and asked it to submit a report within 48 hours.

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