A Class X student of a city school fell to his death from the fifth floor of the school building on Monday afternoon amid allegations from his father that the boy was being subjected to mental torture by teachers as the father had led a movement demanding reduction of school fees during the pandemic.
Sk. Shan, 16, was found lying on the ground floor inside the campus of Silver Point School in Kasba on Monday afternoon, school officials said.
Some guardians said Shan was subjected to alleged mental torture for delayed or faulty submission of a school project.
According to a school official, the boy was found around 2.15pm and immediately rushed to hospital.
“He was found in a state where he was bleeding from the head,” the official said.
According to officials of AMRI Hospitals, Mukundapur where Shan was taken at 2.36pm, he was declared “brought in dead”.
“Doctors noted that he had suffered injuries after falling from a height. While there was bleeding from ear, nose and mouth, there were no vitals recorded. The body has been kept at the hospital mortuary and will be handed over to the police for post-mortem investigation and further procedural measures as per law,” a spokesperson of the hospital said.
Police said preliminary investigations revealed that the incident happened between 2.10pm and 2.15pm but the local police station was not informed by the school authorities before 4pm.
“According to the statement of the teachers and school staff, he was found bleeding on the ground floor inside the school compound. We have collected CCTV footage from cameras installed on the fifth floor that shows the boy loitering on the floor alone, around the same time when the incident happened. He was last seen walking towards the portion of the building which is under construction at this moment,” said a senior officer of Calcutta police.
However, the exact sequence of events is yet to be established, the police said.
Shan was a resident of Kasba Bosepukur.
It was between the 6th and 7th period that several people in the school heard a loud thud.
“The place from where Shan is suspected to have fallen has a parapet wall and then a grille over it. There is a gap in the grille and no one can slip through it without scaling the grille,” said one of the police investigators.
The boy is assumed to have jumped from the fifth floor of the six-storey building. His classroom was on the fourth floor.
Shan’s father Sk. Pappu blamed the school for his son’s death.
“He was under tremendous mental pressure from the school. He was being harassed because I had led the protest for reduction of school fees during the Covid-19 lockdown period. The school had subjected him to torture,” the father alleged.
Asked about the alleged harassment faced by the boy, a school official said: “It is a false allegation.”
This newspaper came across the specific allegation on the fee late at night, and could not ascertain the version of the school.
Regarding the allegations of torture over a project, a school official said the boy had submitted an incomplete math project, despite being told by teachers on several occasions, but at no point was he harassed about this.
“The project was given to the students before the summer vacation. The boy had submitted a project that was incomplete,” said the official.
The school term examinations are scheduled to begin shortly.
“We are not in a position to comment until an investigation is carried out. Let the investigation take place,” said a school official.
“We are equally traumatized by the incident as is the family. We as a school cater
to lower middle class and middle class income groups and our best effort is to give opportunities to our children,” said Sucharita Roychowdhury, principal, Silver Point School.
“Mental health has become an issue among schoolchildren and we keep conducting workshops to address their mental health needs,” a school official said.
A senior school programme on Teacher’s Day on Tuesday has been called off.
The school will be closed on Tuesday. Wednesday was a pre-declared holiday for Janmashtami.
Sk. Pappu, the boy’s father, submitted a written complaint to the Kasba police station late on Monday against the principal, vice-principal and two teachers of the school for hatching a criminal conspiracy to “kill his son”, the police said.
The police started an FIR under sections of murder and criminal conspiracy.
This newspaper was unable to contact school officials after the police complaint was filed.