Father, school spar over girl's death at Wonder La

The father of 12-year-old Shabreen Taj who “drowned” at the Wonder La Amusement Park near here on Monday, has accused the Matha English-medium school of “bluffing” and “hiding facts”. 

Mohammad Mustafa, Shabreen’s father, claimed the school authorities’ account of the incident was “highly inconsistent”. Shabreen, a class VI student, was on a picnic when the incident occurred. 

“The school claims my daughter was very much alive when rushed to the hospital. We have learnt that she died in the amusement park. The school is trying to cover up its laxity,” he told Deccan Herald. 

Mustafa said the school authorities and the Wonder La staff did try to revive Shabreen after she tripped and fell into the three-foot-deep artificial sea at the park between 3.30 and 3.40 pm. 

“No teacher or instructor kept a watch over the children,” he claimed. 

Shabreen was given first-aid and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. When it failed, the school authorities took her to the hospital and “pretended as if she was alive,” Mustafa said. In the meantime, he said, “The school did not bother to inform us. They just wanted to wash their hands of the incident.” 

It was only by 7 pm that somebody from the school took Shabreen’s mother, Syeda Asima Nikhat, to the Rajarajeshwari Medical College and Hospital. 

“All along, the school authorities pretended as if my daughter died in the hospital and not in the amusement park,” Mustafa said. 

According to Mustafa, he learnt about the incident “through a TV news channel at 11 pm,” as the school did not inform him despite having his phone number. 

Shabreen’s uncle, Zakir Hussain Khan, too, said the school did not inform “any of us”. “I learnt about it when I happened to call Shabreen’s mother who was on her way to the hospital,” Khan said. 

The school, however, has reiterated that Shabreen died in the hospital. “One of the girls who was playing with Shabreen called me and I rushed there. Moments later, Shabreen’s pulse rate started to fall. We gave her first-aid before rushing her to the hospital where she remained critical for about 45 minutes prior to her death,” V Selvi, the school’s headmistress, said. She insisted Shabreen died “around 7 pm in the hospital.” 

Selvi’s account, however, has been contradicted by M G Ramakrishna, DySP (Ramanagara Sub-Division), who earlier told Deccan Herald that Shabreen was “declared brought dead to the hospital.” 

Shabreen’s body was brought to her house at Rahmaniya Block, Rahmath Nagar near R T Nagar, on Tuesday afternoon, after the post-mortem. 

Compensation V Venkatesh, Selvi’s husband who owns the school, said they would compensate Shabreen’s family. The school charged Rs 400 (including Rs 260 towards Wonder La ticket and Rs 60 each for food and bus fare) per student for the picnic in which 144 students took part. 

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