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Suspend La Martiniere principal: Panel

Press Trust Of India
Jun 22, 2010 at 10:21pm IST

New Delhi: A three-member team of a child rights body has sought suspension of the principal of Kolkata's La Martiniere School till the completion of a probe into the suicide of a student who committed suicide after being caned in school.

While calling for action against Principal Sunirmal Chakravarthy, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) team has alleged that there were clear linkages of harassment and humiliation of 13 year-old Class VIII student Rouvanjit Rawla in the form of corporal punishment leading to his death.

The report which was submitted to panel's chairperson Shanta Sinha has also recommended suspension of a teacher "Danian" whose name figures in the police FIR registered by the deceased's father.

Suspend La Martiniere principal: Panel

NCPCR team says harassment and humiliation of Rouvanjit Rawla due to corporal punishment led to his death.

When contacted Sinha said, "it seems it (team) has submitted the report. But since I am out of Delhi I have not seen the content of the report."

However, sources told PTI that the team comprising BK Sahu, Ashok Kumar and Ratnaboli Ray has recommended suspension of the principal till completion of the probe.

"As the case is still being investigated by the police, the principal and teacher who are named in the FIR must be suspended for fair probe. There are linkages of the child's death to the humiliation he met at the hands of them," sources said quoting the extensive report.

It also suggested the police should expedite the probe into the case as well as look into the probability of charging the accused under Section 23 of the Juvenile Justice Act as it was a clear case of assault on the minor since the teachers have already accepted that they caned the student.

During its visit to the school, the probe team had investigated in detail about the reasons that led the boy to kill himself.

The NCPCR members talked to students and teachers individually to get the clear picture of the incident that had evoked outrageous response from the civic society seeking stringent measures to check corporal punishment.

The rights team also looked into the school's method of redressing grievances, the code of conduct and rules and regulations. The police too is investigating the case under Section 305 IPC (abetment to suicide), which carries a jail term from 10 years to life and even the death penalty. No arrests have been made yet.

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