Protests greet teachers in Bengal high school

Kin of deceased foil bid to reopen Daribhit High School where two youths died after suffering bullet injuries during a clash

By Kousik Sen in Raiganj
  • Published 10.10.18, 4:04 AM
  • Updated 10.10.18, 7:49 PM
  • 2 mins read
  •  
Family members of the deceased youths hold the dharna in front of Daribhit High School on Tuesday. Main Uddin Chisti

A group of teachers arrived at Daribhit High School on Tuesday to facilitate its reopening, but they were turned away by families of two youths who had died after suffering bullet injuries during a clash there last month.

The teachers later said they were feeling insecure and left the spot. The local people asserted that unless a CBI probe into the September 20 violence was initiated, they would not let the school reopen.

The co-educational higher secondary school has over 1,900 students. Its closed for the past 19 days, that is since the day of violence.

Around 10.30am on Tuesday, five teachers of the school, led by Anil Mondal, reached Daribhit. “We had been to the village as per the directive of the headmaster. Our plan was to discuss with locals and take initiatives to reopen the school,” said Mondal.

However, within minutes, the villagers gathered and started a demonstration. The teachers were told that if they wanted to enter the school, fresh tension might crop up in the village and they would be held responsible.

“Some of the villagers even threatened us that we would face dire consequences if we moved closer to the school,” Mondal added.

A teacher said: “It seems there is hardly any possibility that the school would reopen before Durga Puja. Hundreds of students are suffering as classes have not been held for almost three weeks. Several official works are pending at the institution.”

The residents and family members of Rajesh Sarkar and Tapash Burman, the two youths who are former students of the school and died from bullet injuries during the violence on September 20, however, sounded firm.

Like other days, the mothers of Rajesh and Tapash had been squatting at the entrance to the school on Tuesday, demanding a CBI investigation.

“Our sons have died because police had fired in open. We will continue our demonstration unless a CBI investigation is initiated. Till then, we will not let anybody enter the school. Once the CBI takes up the case, we will open the gates for the teachers,” said Manju, Tapash’s mother.

A three-member team of the National Human Rights Commission that reached Islampur on Monday continued to remain in the town and did not go to Daribhit.

“We are collecting information about the incident from people. On Wednesday, an officer of the DIG rank will arrive here from the NHRC. We would then hold talks with the administration,” said I.R. Kurillose, one of the team members.

Sources said a letter from the superintendent of police of North Dinajpur might be holding them back.

Sumit Kumar, the SP, had informed the NHRC that the case was not in their jurisdiction as the state human rights commission was probing it and had sought a report from the district police. 

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